Uefa reveals Champions League resumption plans
Uefa has announced that the remainder of the 2019-20 edition of its continental cup competitions, the Champions League and Europa League, will be played in a format traditionally used for international tournaments, with all matches to take place in a single country.
European football’s governing body revealed today (17 June) that the Champions League quarter and semi finals and final will be played in Lisbon between 12 and 23 August this year. The remaining round of 16 matches that were postponed as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic may still be played in the competing clubs’ home stadiums.
A final decision on where these games will be played is still to be made. Should they be moved to Portugal, they will be played either at Lisbon’s Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica or Estádio José Alvalade. Porto’s Estádio do Dragão or the Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques in Guimarães can also be used if necessary.
The final will be played at Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on 23 August, with the draw for the quarter finals to take place on 10 July. Istanbul, which had been due to stage the 2020 final will now host next year’s final.
For the Europa League, meanwhile, matches will be played in Germany, in Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen between 10 and 21 August. The remaining round of 16 matches will be played on 5 or 6 August, with a decision still to be made on whether these will take place in each team’s stadium, or in Germany.
Two ties in which the first leg is yet to be played, between Inter Milan and Getafe, and Sevilla and AS Roma, will be decided by a single game. The host city for the final is yet to be determined, though Gdańsk in Poland - which had been due to stage the 2020 edition - will now do so in 2021.
The Women’s Champions League final rounds will be played as a knock-out tournament in Spain, with games played at the the San Mamés Stadium in Bilbao and the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastián between 21 and 30 August.
“I am delighted that we are able to resume almost all of our competitions,” Uefa president Alexander Ceferin said. “I am confident that we will not have to endure the fans’ absence for long and that they will be allowed into stadiums sooner rather than later.”
Uefa has also confirmed that all cities scheduled to host matches in its Euro 2020 international tournament, before it was pushed back a year as a result of the pandemic, will remain venues for the rescheduled tournament. All tickets already sold will remain valid for this event.
All remaining qualifying matches will be played as ‘triple headers’ in the international breaks from 8 October and 12 November, to finalise the teams competing in the event. The Nations League international tournament, meanwhile, will play its group matches in September, October and November.
“Uefa took a bold decision when it decided to postpone Euro 2020,” Ceferin said. “But in doing so, we created the space which has allowed domestic club competitions across the continent to resume, where possible, and play to a conclusion.
“While the game has suffered huge difficulties as a result of the pandemic, those blows would have landed much harder if we had not shown leadership in those early days.”
European leagues are slowly resuming action, with Germany’s Bundesliga, Spain’s La Liga and Italian cup football already underway. The English Premier League, meanwhile, returns tonight (17 June), with Aston Villa taking on Sheffield United, and Arsenal playing Manchester City.