UEFA CL to resume with ‘final eight’ tournament in Lisbon

Madrid, Jun 17 (efe-epa).- The Uefa Champions League is set to resume with a “final eight” tournament played with a condensed schedule between 12-23 August in Lisbon.

The final was originally slated to be played in Istanbul.

Uefa’s executive committee ratified the dates in a press conference Wednesday, three months after the competition was brought to an unscheduled halt mid-way through the round of 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am delighted that we are able to resume almost all of our competitions,” UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement. “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.”

According to Uefa, the Champions League quarter finals will take place between 12 and 15 August, with the semi-finals on 18-19 August, all shared between the Estádio da Luz and the Estádio José Alvalade.

The final will be played at the Estádio da Luz, Benfica’s home ground, on 23 August.

Four teams have already qualified for the quarter-finals: Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Atalanta.

The pending second-leg fixtures in the round of 16 will go ahead on 7-8 August, either at the scheduled stadia or in Lisbon.

“The Estádio do Dragão in Porto and the Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques in Guimarães will be added to Lisbon venues for the Round of 16, if necessary,” Uefa said.

Juventus are looking to overturn a 0-1 away defeat at Lyon, Barcelona are braced for Napoli following a 1-1 draw in the south of Italy, Real Madrid were due to travel to Manchester City with the tough task of overcoming a 1-2 home defeat and Bayern Munich were to welcome Chelsea off the back of a comfortable 0-3 away win in London.

The final draw for the knockout rounds will go ahead in Nyon on 10 July and all games will be straight knockouts.

The Europa League is set to take on a similar format but will be held in the German cities of Cologne, Duisburg, Düsseldorf and Gelsenkirchen between 10 and 21 August rather than the Polish city of Gdansk, the originally-billed final venue.

Six of eight first-leg round-of-16 fixtures were played before the hiatus, but Sevilla-Roma and Inter Milan-Getafe were postponed altogether given the ferocity of the coronavirus outbreaks in Spain and Italy when the matches were due to be played.

Those matches will now be played as a single leg game at a venue yet to be confirmed.

All subsequent fixtures in the competition will be played as a final eight tournament, Uefa said, with quarters on 10-11 August, semis on 16-17 August and the final in Cologne on 21 August.

Like the Champions League, all games will kick off at 9pm CET.

The knockout rounds of the Uefa Women’s Champions League will be completed in single-leg fixtures in August, spread between stadia in the cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián in Spain’s Basque Country.

The quarters will go ahead on 21-22 August, the semis on 25-25 August and the final, to be played at the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastián, on 30 August.

Uefa’s EURO 2020 has already been postponed until next year and is set to be played between 11 June – 11 July. EFE-EPA


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