Olympiakos’ 1-0 loss at the Molineux on Thursday to Premier League side Wolves did not only mean the elimination of the Greek champion from the Europa League, but also the relegation of Greek soccer to Europe’s also-runs.
The Reds went down to a seventh-minute penalty kick by Raul Jimenez at Wolverhampton and bowed out at the Round of 16 in Europe’s second-tier competition with a 2-1 aggregate score.
Greece has therefore dropped to 18th in the UEFA rankings, below Cyprus and Switzerland, which means that as of the 2021-2022 season it will be deprived of a number of privileges.
First of all, the Greek champion of the new season, 2020-21, will have to start from the first qualifying round of the Champions League in the summer of 2021.
There will be no second representative of Greece to the Champions League, there will be no Greek teams in the Europa League, and three teams from the Greek Super League – including the winner of the Greek Cup – will participate in the new Europa Conference League, i.e. the new, third-tier competition of UEFA. That means Greece will only have four teams in Europe, down from five today.
The only good news for Olympiakos was the elimination of Juventus by Lyon in the Champions League, which is taking the Reds to the 2020-21 Champions League playoffs instead of having to start from the third qualifying round, unless Lyon goes on to win the Champions League this month.