In Brief

Champions League: what is Uefa’s plan after postponing final?

European football’s governing body aims to complete the UCL and Europa League this summer

Uefa has postponed the finals of all this season’s major competitions but European football’s governing body remains optimistic that the Champions League and Europa League will be decided this summer.

In line with all international sport, football in Europe has been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic and currently the continent’s two showpiece competitions are in limbo. 

But BBC Sport reports that “it is still hoped to play the respective finals on 24 June and 27 June”, although to accomplish that task it may mean tinkering with the format of the tournaments. 

The Champions League final had originally been slated for 30 May in the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Four round of 16 ties have been completed in the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Atalanta all through to the quarter-finals. But the Manchester City vs. Real Madrid, Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea, Juventus vs. Lyon and Barcelona vs. Napoli ties still have the return legs to finish. 

In the Europa League, six first-leg ties have been completed but two are outstanding.

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The 2020 Uefa Europa League final is scheduled to take place in Gdańsk, Poland

Soren Andersson/AFP/Getty Images

Toss of a coin

According to the BBC, “work is now being undertaken to try to work out a formula that would allow the competitions to reach a conclusion”. 

Two of the Europa League last 16 matches - Sevilla vs. Roma and Inter vs. Getafe - have not even had their first leg completed and it’s believed Uefa may decide these games on the toss of a coin. 

Turkish delight?

The fact that the last 16 games have not been completed places Uefa in a quandary as does the possibility that domestic leagues will resume at different times. 

Britain, for example, has just gone into a national lockdown, while Italy is in its third week of confinement and Spain and France the second week.

Completing the outstanding round of 16 ties of the Champions League and Europa League is Uefa’s priority and then the quarter-finals and semi-finals could also be played over a single game, perhaps in a mini-tournament in the host city of Istanbul.

Today’s back pages

Tokyo Olympics ‘set for 2021’ and football players ‘revolt’ against matches behind closed doors

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