CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Champions League: UEFA considers 'final four' in Istanbul

ERIC GAILLARD

Amid the coronavirus crisis, UEFA is preparing to adopt the 'final four' format in this season's Champions League and Europa League.

Amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis, UEFA is preparing to embrace the 'final four' format as a way of completing this season's Champions League and Europa League.

Istanbul, Gdansk to host 'final four' events

According to the plan being drawn up by European football's governing body, the semi-finals and final of each tournament would be contested in a single city over a four-day period, all in single-legged format. Istanbul and Gdansk, which have already been chosen as the final venues of the Champions League and Europa League, respectively, would be the host cities for the two events.

UEFA set to vote on proposal on Tuesday

UEFA's director of competitions, Giorgio Marchetti, is set to present the proposal to representatives of the organisation's 55 member associations when they hold a video conference on Tuesday, before putting it to a vote.

For now, however, UEFA's most pressing priority is concluding the Champions League and Europa League's last-16 stages - both were suspended this week with ties still to be resolved - and organising the quarter-finals. The last eight is also likely to be played in single-game format, either at a neutral venue or with a draw handing home advantage to one team in each pairing.

By then playing the semi-finals and final within the space of four days, dates would be freed up to allow Europe's suspended domestic leagues to complete their seasons. The plan would also focus football fans' movement on two cities, rather than seeing them travel throughout the continent.

UEFA needs FIFA cooperation to move Euro 2020

As the European game seeks to reorganise its calendar, UEFA is also due to decide whether Euro 2020 should be be delayed until next summer to make way for the backlog of club fixtures. In this regard, the body will need the cooperation of FIFA, as world football's governing authority would have to agree to move the 2021 Club World Cup.