Birkirkara women to face Sarajevo in UEFA Women’s Champions League

The UEFA Women’s Champions League round 1 draw has set up the first ties of the 2022/23 season With local champions Birkirkara being paired with SFK 2000 Sarajevo of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Group 7.

The other semi-final of Group 7 is Universitatea Olimpia Cluj (ROU) vs Glentoran (NIR) and the winners of the two semi-finals will be facing each other in the final with the two losing semi-finalists meeting in the play-off for third place.

Sarajevo, along with KÍ Klaksvík, are entering for a record 20th time (including the pre-2009 UEFA Women’s Cup). Sarajevo will set a new outright record of 20 straight appearances as Brøndby have missed out for the first time since they made their debut in the third edition of the UEFA Women’s Cup in 2003/04. On the other hand, for Birkirkara, this will be their tenth participation.

Round 1 is one of two rounds before the 16-team group stage, which begins in October. Qualifying will be split into two sections: the champions path and the league path. In both paths, round 1 will consist of two stages, each of one-off knockout matches played in single-venue mini-tournaments: semi-finals (18 August) and finals/third-place play-offs (21 August). 

The winners of each final (11 in the champions path, four in the league path) will progress to round 2, where 24 teams will compete for the last 12 slots in the group stage alongside holders Lyon and fellow direct entrants Barcelona, Chelsea and Wolfsburg.

Women’s Champions League round 1 draw

The hosts of the knockout mini-tournaments will be confirmed from among the clubs in each group.

Champions path:

Group 1
Pomurje Beltinci (SVN) vs Shelbourne (IRL)
Valur (ISL) vs Hayasa (ARM) 

Group 2
PAOK (GRE) vs Swansea City (WAL)
Ferencváros (HUN) vs Rangers (SCO) 

Group 3
BIIK-Shymkent (KAZ) vs Split (CRO) 
Vorskla-Kharkiv-2 (UKR) vs Lanchkhuti (GEO) 

Group 4
Zürich (SUI) vs KÍ Klaksvík (FRO)
Apollon LFC (CYP) vs SFK Rīga (LVA) 

Group 5
Anderlecht (BEL) vs UKS SMS Łódź (POL)
Gintra (LTU) vs KuPS Kuopio (FIN) 

Group 6
Juventus (ITA) vs Racing FC Union Luxembourg (LUX)
Flora Tallinn (EST) vs Qiryat Gat (ISR)

Group 7
Universitatea Olimpia Cluj (ROU) vs Glentoran (NIR)
SFK 2000 Sarajevo (BIH) vs Birkirkara (MLT)

Group 8
Twente (NED) vs Agarista CSF Anenii Noi 2020 (MDA)
SL Benfica (POR) vs Hajvalia (KOS)

Group 9
Dinamo-BSUPC (BLR) vs Lokomotiv Stara Zagora (BUL)
St. Pölten (AUT) vs Ljuboten (MKD) 

Group 10
Breznica Pljevlja (MNE) vs Spartak Myjava (SVK)
Bye to final: Vllaznia (ALB)

Group 11
Brann (NOR) vs ALG Spor (TUR)
Bye to final: Spartak Subotica (SRB) 

League path:

Group 1
Paris FC (FRA) vs Servette FCCF (SUI) 
Glasgow City (SCO) vs Roma (ITA) 

Group 2
FC Minsk (BLR) vs Slovácko (CZE)
Breidablik (ISL) vs Rosenborg (NOR)

Group 3
Ajax (NED) vs Kristianstad (SWE)
Fortuna Hjørring (DEN) vs Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) 

Group 4
Real Madrid (ESP) vs Sturm Graz (AUT)
Manchester City (ENG) vs Tomiris-Turan (KAZ)