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Cyprus has 3 teams in UEFA group stages for first time

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Cypriot football is adding another glory page to its European success story, as for the first time, Cyprus has at least three teams in a UEFA competition group stage.

Cyprus has three teams playing in the Europa League playoffs next week after AEK joined champions Apollon Limassol and cup winners Omonia Nicosia.

They will find themselves in the Europa League group stage if they are successful. If they fail, they will be sent to the less profitable Conference League but still be able to generate several million euros.

Cyprus could have a fourth team in a European tournament group stage if APOEL Nicosia knocks out Swedish Djurgårdens IF in the Conference League playoffs.

APOEL will have to overcome the Swedish team for a spot in the group stage.

So far, APOEL has knocked out Bulgarian Botev Plovdiv and Kyzyl-Zhar FC from Kazakhstan.

AEK Larnaca qualified for the Europa League playoff stage after knocking out Partizan Belgrade in the third qualifying round on Thursday.

AEK drew 2-2 with FK Partizan in Belgrade after they beat the Serbs 2-1 at AEK Arena.

The Larnaca club started their campaign in the Champions League second qualifying round but could not knock out Danish FC Midtjylland.

They lost the qualification in a penalty shootout in Denmark after both games finished 1-1.

AEK now face Dnipro-1 from the war-struck country of Ukraine, with AEK’s away game to take place at the Košice Football Arena in Slovakia.

Champions Apollon started their European campaign from the third qualifying tie of the Champions League but failed to overcome Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa.

Despite winning their home game earlier this week 2-0, the Cyprus champions were demoted to the Europa League as they had lost 4-0 in Haifa.

Apollon plays Greek champions Olympiacos Piraeus next week.

Cup winners Omonia are starting their campaign next Thursday in the Europa League playoffs as they go head-to-head with Belgium cup winners KAA Gent.

Should Apollon Limassol, Omonia and AEK Larnaca be successful in the Europa League playoffs, they will be cashing in at least €5 mln each from their European endeavours.

In the worst-case scenario, the three teams will find themselves in the group stage of the Conference League, earning them a minimum of €2.94 mln.

A team winning a group stage fixture in the UEFA Europa Conference League gets €500,000, while a draw earns €166,000 each.

Qualifying for the UEFA Europa League group stage in September will see each team earning €3.63 mln.

Teams in the group stage get €630,000 per match victory and €210,000 per draw.