Bordeaux, France - Football's UEFA Cup is to be renamed the UEFA Europa League with a new format from the 2009/10 season, the UEFA executive committee agreed in Bordeaux on Friday.
The sport's governing body in Europe says the new name is in line with plans to rejuvenate the competition with a new identity.
A UEFA statement said the competition would effectively be a new one with a new 48-team group stage, centralised marketing of broadcast rights, a presenting sponsor, a new logo and an official match ball.
The decision to create a group stage with home and away matches had been taken by the executive committee in Lucerne, Switzerland in December.
The new format "will encourage teams from emerging countries or lesser-known teams to challenge the old order, and the new identity will seek to reflect that," UEFA said.
UEFA president Michel Platini said: "These changes will improve this historic competition which is very important for UEFA and for European football, as it gives more fans, players and clubs the thrill of European club football.
"I am convinced the new format will give the UEFA Europa League a successful new impetus."
UEFA said its "ambition in making all these changes is to rejuvenate the competition in the light of the new European football landscape, which has changed significantly with the continued success of the UEFA Champions League, so that the UEFA Europa League can establish itself as a major competition." (dpa)