UEFA plans to resume Champions League from August 7

Updated April 20, 2020

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The semi-finals will be on August 18-19 and 21-22 before the final in Istanbul. — UFEA Website/File
The semi-finals will be on August 18-19 and 21-22 before the final in Istanbul. — UFEA Website/File

LONDON: European football’s governing body UEFA is mulling to continue the Champions League matches suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic on August 7-8, after the domestic leagues have reached their conclusion.

According to a report on Sky Sports Italia, the first of the remaining matches in the Round of 16 will be played on August 7 and 8 after which there will be matches every three days until August 29 when the final is scheduled to be held.

The semi-finals will be on August 18-19 and 21-22 before the final in Istanbul.

This would shelve the proposal of a Final Eight tournament with one-off knockout matches, although it remains to be seen how home and away ties will genuinely work behind closed doors.

The Champions League final was initially scheduled to take place on May 30 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul.

This would also result in the group stage of the 2020/21 season of the Champions League being postponed to October 20.

A series of meetings have been set up for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday next week, to discuss how to proceed in concluding the 2019-20 season amid a coronavirus pandemic.

However, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in Europe led to the tournament having to be postponed with the second legs of four last 16 ties, which include Juventus-Olympique Lyonnais and Barcelona-Napoli, left to be played.

The teams that have gone through to the quarter-finals thus far are Paris St Germain, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig and Atalanta.

It was initially rumoured that a deadline of August 3 has been set for the final to be held but UEFA denied that.

“It has been reported that UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin told ZDF in Germany that the UEFA Champions League must finish by 3 August. This is not true,” said a statement from UEFA. “The President was very clear not to set exact dates for the end of the season.”

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2020