New look aspects for the 20/21 Champions League season
The ongoing coronavirus pandemic affecting all areas of the continent has impacted on certain aspects of UEFA's show-piece competition.
After UEFA competitions resumed in August, European football's governing body introduced a five substitute per game rule to help players who may have been feeling the pace after the lengthy lay-off and restart with games being packed into a tight schedule. On 25 September at the Budapest Executive Committee meeting, UEFA ruled that this five substitute per game would remain in place for the 2020/21 season in their competitions given the compressed calender with squads now being able to name 23 for match-day.
The five substitutes rule will be extended to Euro 2021 qualifying playoffs, Women's EURO qualifiers, the Nations League group phase and the Women's Champions League for the rest of the season.
The other aspect we'll see in the group stage of both Champions and Europa League competitions are empty stadiums. UEFA hoped that games at this stage of both tournaments could have been staged with grounds holding 25% capacity as was trialled at the recent Super Cup final in the Hungarian capital which they maintain was a success. Unfortunately the recent spike in Covid-19 cases in many European nations will see all UEFA matches played behind closed doors at least until the first quarter of 2021.
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