UEFA intends to end its flagship club competitions on the field later this year.
European soccer’s governing body is working on plans to stage the UEFA Champions League Final on Aug. 29 in Istanbul and the UEFA Europa League Final on Aug. 26 in Gdansk, Poland, The BBC’s Simon Stone reported Thursday. UEFA will meet Thursday to discuss how to finish a 2019-20 season, which the coronavirus outbreak halted dramatically last month.
UEFA also reportedly will agree to allow domestic leagues to finish early — most have paused for the last month-plus — provided the continental body approves of how they do so.
Two proposals for completing the Champions League reportedly are under consideration. The first would be to stage two-legged quarterfinal and semifinal series, as usual, in July and August. The second would be to play those rounds as one-off games after domestic leagues end, perhaps in the format of a week-long mini tournament.
The Europa League, which suspended play halfway through the Round of 16, would adopt a different schedule than the Champions League.
Nevertheless, each proposal would end the Champions League and Europa Leagues prior to when the group stages for next season’s competitions would begin, which suggests UEFA intends to hold the 2020-21 Champions League and Europa League on as close to a normal timetable as possible. After all, UEFA will hold the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament at the end of next season.
Thumbnail photo via LiverpoolFC.com