UEFA reveals Final-8 plans for Champions League and Europa League

European football’s governing body UEFA agreed to a new format for the final part of the troubled 2019-20 season. The final phase of both UEFA competitions, the Champions League and the Europa League, will be played in a format traditionally used for international tournaments: all matches will be knock-outs and will take place in a single country.

Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final will be played as a final eight straight knock-out tournament at the “Da Luz”  and the “Estádio José Alvalade” in Lisbon between 12 and 23 August 2020.

The remaining Round of 16 second-leg matches will be played on the 7/8 August, pending a decision on whether they will take place at the home team’s stadiums or in Portugal. 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.

The final will be played at the “Da Luz” stadium 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.

The Europa League quarter and semi-finals and final 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.

The matches FC Internazionale Milano – Getafe CF and Sevilla FC – AS Roma, whose first leg was also postponed, will be played as a single leg at a venue to be confirmed.

Gdańsk, which was originally appointed to stage the 2020 final will now host the 2021 UEFA Europa League Final, whereas the venues for subsequent finals have all agreed to host these a year later than originally planned, with Sevilla in 2022 and Budapest in 2023.

Commenting on the decisions, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, said: “I am delighted that we are able to resume almost all of our competitions. 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”.

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