UEFA confirm Champions League will be end with World Cup-style mini-tournament in Lisbon in August… with one-legged ties played behind closed doors and the final on August 23
- The 2019-20 Champions League will be completed via a mini-tournament
- The venues for the four outstanding last-16 ties will be decided in due course
- From the quarter-finals onwards, the competition will be played out in Lisbon
- Ties in the Portuguese capital will be over one-leg, with the final on August 23
- The Europa League will follow a similar style with a mini-tournament in Germany
- The final of the Europa League will be held in Cologne on August 21
UEFA have today confirmed plans to finish this season’s Champions League with a mini-tournament in Lisbon over 12 days in August.
Europe’s premier club competition will complete its 2019-20 edition with a final-eight World Cup-style tournament, held in the Portuguese capital, from August 12 to August 23.
After the four outstanding last-16 ties are completed – and whether they will be completed at the scheduled home stadiums or neutral venues in Portugal is still to be decided – the quarter-finals onwards will be held on neutral territory, with no fans present and, most notably, over just one-leg.
The 2019-20 Champions League will be completed via a mini-tournament in Lisbon in August
Atletico Madrid are one of the quarter-finalists after they beat holders Liverpool in the last-16
PSG are also in the World Cup style-tournament, where rounds will be decided via one-leg
If the last-16 games cannot be completed at the scheduled home stadiums, Porto and Guimaraes will be added as potential venues for the matches, alongside Lisbon.
As things stand, teams will not have to quarantine either, with each club likely to set up in their own hotel away from the public so that social distancing measures can be maintained.
Meanwhile, the quarter-finals onwards in the Europa League will similarly be played over one-leg in four German cities: Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen between the 10-21 August, with the final in Cologne on August 21.
As with the Champions League, the venues for the remaining last-16 games will be decided in due course – but will be held over the 5-6 August.
Manchester United are set to play in the Europa League mini-tournament held in Germany
UEFA have earmarked August as the month to complete both competitions in order to give Europe’s top domestic leagues enough time to finish their respective seasons.
In the Champions League, the ‘final eight’ tournament will be held over 12 days in Lisbon, with the first match taking place on August 12 and the final being played on August 23.
Instead of playing the quarter-finals over two legs as normal, the new plan will see the ties become single games across four straight days.
The semi-finals, which will also be played over one leg, will take place on August 18 and 19, with the final at the Estadio da Luz four days later.
Benfica’s home stadium, the Estadio da Luz, will host the 2020 Champions League final
Liverpool won last year’s competition but this year’s will not be completed in the usual format
Istanbul was due to host the 2020 final but will now be the venue for the 2021 showpiece, with all other scheduled hosts moving back a year – meaning St Petersburg will host in 2022, Munich in 2023 and Wembley in 2024.
It was also announced in Wednesday’s press conference that the group-stage for the 2021-22 Champions League will start on October 20.
The teams already qualified for this season’s quarter-finals are France’s PSG, Italy’s Atalanta, Spain’s Atletico Madrid and Germany’s RB Leipzig.
The remaining last-16 second-leg fixtures are Manchester City’s home tie against Real Madrid, Chelsea’s trip to Bayern Munich, Juventus’s home game against Lyon and Napoli’s visit to Barcelona.
Bayern Munich will face Chelsea at the Allianz Arena in the second leg of their last-16 tie
Manchester City hold a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid after winning the first leg of their last-16 tie
Portugal was picked because of its location and the fact it has no teams left in the competition.
Lisbon emerged as an attractive host city because it has two stadiums with the facilities needed for elite matches – Benfica’s Estadio da Luz and Sporting Lisbon’s Estadio Jose Alvalade.
In addition, most of the country’s coronavirus restrictions are also being lifted this month, with air travel in and out of the country allowed from June 22.
Visitors will not need to go into quarantine on arrival, although additional health and safety measures will be in place in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Sporting Lisbon’s Estadio Jose Alvalade will also host matches for August’s mini-tournament
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed the summer plans for the Champions League
Organisers are proceeding on the basis that all matches will be played behind closed doors, with only essential personnel allowed on site.
However, UEFA are understood to have left the door open for possible changes should public health conditions in Portugal allow.
If government guidelines are altered in time for ticketing to be organised, there is an outside chance that some fans could be allowed in to watch.
The capacity of both grounds would be greatly reduced in order to comply with social distancing rules and other safety protocols.
UEFA are braced for a loss in income from broadcasters, who will expect sizeable refunds because they will have six fewer games to show as a result of the new format.
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