sport

UEFA launch youth competition

UEFA are to launch a new under-19 club competition which will be in direct competition with the NextGen series.

The new UEFA youth competition will be open to the 32 clubs who qualify for the Champions League group stage.

That will clash with the NextGen series, co-founded by Mark Warburton, the former City trader now sporting director at Brentford, and already involving top clubs such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester City, Barcelona and Inter Milan.

UEFA president Michel Platini said: "There is a private company organising a tournament with the agreement of certain people who thought UEFA would agree.

"We realised it is a private company organising that and the executive committee requested it should be up to us to organise that and we are doing that with the European Clubs' Association.

"We have created a carbon copy of the Champions League and we will have this test for two years.

"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."