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UEFA consider ‘host city’ solution for European competitions

A creative solution may be required to complete the 2019/20 Champions League and Europa League campaigns and one club official has revealed UEFA’s proposals.

Real Madrid's Brazilian defender Marcelo (L) and Real Madrid's Spanish defender Sergio Ramos hold the trophy at  Cibeles square in Madrid on May 27, 2018 as they celebrate after winning their third Champions League title in a row in Kiev. / AFP

Football fans can look forward to the return of domestic football in England, Spain and Italy in the coming weeks and plans are being made for the future of the Champions League and the Europa League. There has been no official word from UEFA on the specifics of those plans but Getafe president Angel Torres revealed the proposals in an interview with Spanish radio station Cadena COPE:

“UEFA’s idea is to play the Champions League and Europa League, starting from the quarter-finals, across one match in one venue although nothing has been confirmed yet”.

He added that he believes a decision will be made on June 17, the new date for the meeting of UEFA’s executive committee. The move to single-legged ties would be a departure from the established format for continental competition but with games to be played behind closed doors the advantage for the home team would be lessened.

In a recent statement UEFA confirmed that they are considering altering the format of the competitions to ensure that they can reach their natural conclusion:

"A working group has been set up with the participation of representatives from the leagues and clubs to examine calendar solutions and format options that would allow for the completion of the current season.”

Where we stand

When all UEFA competitions were suspended in March both the Champions League and Europa League were in the middle of the Round-of-16 stage. Only half of the Champions League ties have been completed so there are currently twelve teams yet to be eliminated, with Chelsea and Manchester City the two remaining English representatives.

German domestic football has already returned and the English, Italian and Spanish leagues have all set preliminary dates for their return. However the French league was ended on 28 April meaning that Paris Saint-German and Lyon are unlikely to play any competitive fixtures before the Champions League resumes.

The Champions League final was to be hosted in Istanbul but that seems increasingly unlikely. The Metro has reported that Lisbon and a number of German cities are being considered as replacement hosts for the remaining Champions League fixtures, both of which have hosted major international tournaments in the recent past.


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