The Union of European Football Associations, or UEFA, has officially announced that the Champions League will resume on Friday, August 7. The quarterfinals, semifinals, and final will be held as a straight knockout tournament in Lisbon, Portugal. The European governing body has announced that the games will be reduced to one-leg, from the standard two-leg format.
Europe’s biggest competition has been on hold since Wednesday, March 11, due to coronavirus. Following the UEFA Executive Committee Meeting, the revised schedule to conclude this season’s competition was confirmed.
All games will be held in two stadiums: Benfica’s Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benifica and Sporting’s Estadio Jose Alvalade. Fans will not be allowed to attend any games yet.
The draw for both the quarterfinals and semifinals will take place on July 10.T Since the games are only one-leg, should a tie remain at the end of 90 minutes, extra time and penalties will decide the winner.
However, four of the eight round-of-16 games have not been completed after getting interrupted by the pandemic. Whether those matches will take place in Lisbon or at the home stadium of the home teams, as originally intended, is yet to be determined.
– Round of 16 second-legs: August 7-8 (Venue TBD)
– Champions League draw: July 10
– Quarterfinals: August 12-15
– Semifinals: August 18-19
– UCL Final: August 23
With Istanbul unable to stage the final for this season, UEFA has confirmed to postpone the next three hosts for the finals by a year. Istanbul will hold the final match in 2021, followed by St. Petersburg in 2022, Munich in 2023, and London’s Wembley Stadium in 2024. UEFA verified that new signings will be eligible for the remainder of the tournament.
The governing body statement confirmed, “Teams will be allowed to register three new players on their List A for the remainder of the 2019/20 season, provided such players were already registered and eligible for the club since the last registration deadline. List A will still only be able to contain a maximum of 25 players. It will not be possible for clubs to register newly-transferred players.”
The dates and venue for other major leagues and events have been decided, as well. The Europa League will finish its season with games being played in four different cities in Germany between August 10 and August 21. Euro 2020 has also been postponed by 12 months.
The European governing body has also confirmed a plan to stage the Women’s Champions League in Spain with the same rules as the men’s, and the finals will be held on August 30. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said, “I am delighted that we found solutions to stage the final rounds of all these competitions – particularly with the Women’s Champions League. It was important to send a strong signal that it is possible to complete this season, in a time where women’s sports have suffered substantially.”
Most of Europe’s top soccer leagues have managed to return, and are on track to finish their seasons between the end of June and mid-July. All of them are scheduled to end before the Champions League reaches its final match. Soccer fans will be thrilled and excited to watch the world’s biggest soccer match after three months of absence.