The first and second round pairings are determined by means of an open draw. For the purposes of the draw, the UEFA administration may form groups and may include geographical conditions that prevent teams from having to travel long distances.
The first and second rounds are played under the cup (knockout) system, with each club playing each opponent twice, in home and away matches. The team which scores the greater aggregate of goals in the two matches qualifies for the next stage. Otherwise, the stipulations of apply.
The 16 winners of the first round contest the second round.
The eight winners of the second round qualify for the play-offs.