Youth Champions League to start next season

The European football governing body has announced that the new competition will kick off in 2013 with the aim of giving youngsters international experience at club level
Uefa president Michel Platini has revealed that the European Youth League will begin next season.

The 32 clubs which will qualify for the 2013-14 Champions League will also have the opportunity to let their Under-19 players participate in a tournament which mirrors Europe's elite club competition.

"We believe that the Uefa Youth League is an attractive additional proposition to the Champions League clubs," Platini was quoted as saying on Uefa's official website.

"We have now created a competitive opportunity for youth players to be involved in international matches at club level.

"It allows us to provide a development opportunity and great experience not only for the players, but also for referees, who will be appointed on an international basis.

"Additionally, Uefa will also bring its organisational control to these matches, which will mirror closely the Champions League season.

"There are benefits for the clubs, as they will be able to bridge the gap between their youth and first teams, and enhance their commitment to developing their teams at youth level.

"Our objective is only driven by a sporting perspective," the former France international concluded.