Lyon’s defeat means that Ajax are back in the Champions League

By Edikan Akpan - Lyon faces the same test Ajax failed -- to become the longest-shot European champion in a generation to guarantee a return to next season's competition.

After a seventh-place finish in the French league, which ended early because of the pandemic, Lyon will miss out on European football completely for failing to clinched the Champions League following their defeat to Bayern in semi-final — which earns an automatic spot in next season's group stage.

Lyon elimination feeds into a revived debate about how to reform UEFA club competitions ahead of the 2024-25 season.

Before the debate stalled last year -- when domestic leagues and mid-sized clubs opposed plans favoring a wealthy elite -- one idea aired was to reward Champions League semifinalists starting in 2025 with a place in the next group stage.

Ajax’s last-minute loss to Tottenham in the 2019 semifinals won sympathy because it sent the Dutch champion -- a four-time European Cup winner playing in a mid-ranked domestic league -- back to the Champions League qualifying rounds.

“Everybody was excited about Ajax,” UEFA president Alexsander Ceferin said in May 2019 after telling member federations of club-approved proposals to shake-up the Champions League. “It’s a romantic feeling, (Ajax) showed that everything is possible.”

Lyon has repeated the feat by over-achieving with young players at a well-run club trying to keep pace in football's booming era of globalization.

Being in the Champions League is key to business plans of storied clubs and their emerging rivals. Clubs can top 100 million euros ($120 million) in prize money from UEFA each season along with the added revenue that comes from global exposure.

Post a comment



 1.Abia Warriors00000000
 2.Adamawa Utd.00000000
 3.Akwa United00000000
 4.Dakkada FC00000000
 5.Enyimba Int'l00000000
 6.FC Ifeanyi Ubah00000000
 7.Heartland FC00000000
 8.Jigawa GS00000000
 9.Kano Pillars00000000
 10.Katsina United00000000
 11.Kwara United00000000
 12.Lobi Stars00000000
 13.MFM FC00000000
 14.Nasarawa Utd.00000000
 15.Plateau United00000000
 16.Rangers Int'l00000000
 17.Rivers United00000000
 18.Sunshine Stars00000000
 19.Warri Wolves00000000
 20.Wikki Tourists00000000