Champions League & Europa schedules no longer feasible

UEFA search for one-legged European final solutions

2020/03/24 16:00
By Connor Andrews
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With the original schedule of the Champions League and Europa League quarter finals onwards now deemed impossible, governing body UEFA are searching for creative solutions.

There have been suggestions of one-legged knockout ties in neutral locations, while the Europa League final has been moved to June 24th in Gdansk, and the Champions League final has been postponed to three days later in Istanbul.

The delay to this season due to the coronavirus outbreak means it’s now impossible for the schedule to play out as originally planned, with the possibility of one-legged knockout ties taking place in the respective cities as part of a week-long mini tournament now touted.

There is also the added dilemma that there are still four last 16 Champions League second legs left to conclude, while in the second tier of European competition, two ties are yet to even get started.

It presents a logistical nightmare for UEFA with some rumours of the 2019/20 campings being scrapped, as remaining sides have far less at stake than in domestic leagues with promotion and relegation still to be decided.

And furthermore, June may still be incredibly ambitious, as the Champions League final in Istanbul could be well behind schedule as Turkey itself is taking little precaution towards controlling COVID-19, with first division Super Lig games still being played.

In such a fluid situation it’s impossible to guess where things are going to lie, and it looks near impossible that UEFA could announce something akin to the indefinite season end date that the Premier League have opted for to end uncertainty.

The prospect of a mini knockout tournament may well be mouth watering while uncertainty remains, but as the global pandemic spread continues, the general view is that there will not be a 2020 Champions League winner.

 

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