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UEFA Football body under fire over changes to Champions League

UEFA, the European soccer body, rearranged the slots in the lucrative Champions League group stage

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The UEFA logo is seen before the draw ceremony for the 2016/2017 Champions League Cup soccer competition at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum in Monaco play The UEFA logo is seen before the draw ceremony for the 2016/2017 Champions League Cup soccer competition at Monaco's Grimaldi Forum in Monaco August 25, 2016. (REUTERS/Eric Gaillard)
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UEFA has made significant changes to its flagship Champions League competition in an unacceptable manner which will be detrimental to domestic football, the organisation representing Europe's domestic soccer leagues (EPFL) said on Thursday.

The EPFL said UEFA's conduct could lead to an end of the agreement where domestic matches are not scheduled on the same nights as matches in European club competitions.

"A major change in European football has been announced without the support and consensus of the organisers of domestic league football in Europe," the EPFL said in a statement.

"This decision will have a detrimental impact on domestic competitions and will lead to an exponential growth in the financial and sporting gap between the biggest clubs in Europe and all the others."

Last month, UEFA, the European soccer body, rearranged the slots in the lucrative Champions League group stage in favour of its four top-ranked leagues -- in effect Spain, England, Germany and Italy -- by guaranteeing them four places each.

It also announced changes in the distribution of revenue with more emphasis placed on the historic sporting results of the clubs and less on the value of their television market.

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