UEFA Confirms Plans to Finish 2019/20 Champions League & Europa League Seasons
UEFA have announced the 2019/20 Champions League will be completed as a straight knockout mini-tournament in Lisbon over a 12-day period in August, with the 2020 final to be played at Benfica’s Estadio da Luz in the Portuguese capital on Sunday 23 August.
Sporting CP’s Estadio Jose Alvalade nearby will serve as a secondary venue for the competition.
Estadio da Luz will now host the 2020 Champions League final
The remaining last 16 legs will be concluded a few days earlier on 7-8 August, although a decision still needs to be made as to whether those games will also be played in Portugal or at their original locations. If they are moved to Portugal, stadiums in Porto and Guimaraes will be used in addition to those in Lisbon.
The quarter-finals will be played between 12-15 August, with semi-finals on 18-19 August.
As things stand, Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain are through to the quarter-finals. Real Madrid vs Manchester City, Chelsea vs Bayern Munich, Lyon vs Juventus and Napoli vs Barcelona are the four remaining last 16 ties that still need deciding.
The Europa League will follow a similar pattern and be concluded as a straight knockout mini-tournament played in Duisburg, Dusseldorf, Gelsenkirchen and Cologne. The latter will host the final on Friday 21 August, with earlier rounds on 10-11 August and 16-17 August.
Europa League games will be staged in Germany
The outstanding last 16 ties that have not yet begun will also become one-off knockout games, but those that are halfway through – including Manchester United vs LASK – will be completed on 5-6 August. Again, a decision has not been made if those games will be at home grounds or in Germany.
Quarter-final and semi-final draws for both competitions will be made on 10 July.
These decisions come at the end of a two-day meeting of the UEFA Executive Committee at which it was also agreed that Istanbul, the original host for this year’s Champions League final, will now host it in 2021 instead. Similarly, Gdansk will host the Europa League final in 2021.
Each scheduled final host for the next few years have also been pushed back by 12 months, meaning St Petersburg will now host the Champions League final in 2022, Munich in 2023 and London in 2024. Sevilla will host the 2022 Europa League final, followed by Budapest in 2023.
The 2019/20 Women’s Champions League, which had reached the quarter-final stage, will be concluded as a straight knockout mini-tournament in Bilbao between 21 and 30 August. The original final was supposed to have been held in Vienna in May.
Lyon are looking to win a fifth consecutive Women’s Champions League
Lyon are looking to win a fifth consecutive title but face competition from Arsenal, Wolfsburg, PSG, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Glasgow City, with a last eight tie against Bayern Munich.
Across all competitions, UEFA will permit clubs to register three new players to their ‘A’ squad list provided that any players were already registered and eligible in February. Any newly transferred players will not be eligible to take part this season.
Five substitutions per team per game will also be allowed in accordance with the recent temporary rule changes made possible by IFAB in May.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said: “I am delighted that we are able to resume almost all of our competitions. I am confident that we will not have to endure the fans’ absence for long and that they will be allowed into stadiums sooner rather than later.
“UEFA took a bold decision when it decided to postpone Euro 2020. But in doing so, we created the space which has allowed domestic club competitions across the continent to resume, where possible, and play to a conclusion.
“While the game has suffered huge difficulties as a result of the pandemic, those blows would have landed much harder if we had not shown leadership in those early days.”
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin
As far as next season is concerned, the 2020 UEFA Super Cup, which was originally scheduled for 12 August in Porto, will now be played on 24 September in Budapest.
UEFA have also confirmed an adjusted calendar for the 2020/21 Champions League and Europa League, with preliminary rounds to begin in August. The deadline for entry is 3 August.
UEFA Champions League 2020/21
Preliminary round: 8 and 11 August
First qualifying round: 18-19 August
Second qualifying round: 25-26 August
Third qualifying round: 15-16 September
Play-offs: 22-23 and 29-30 September
Group stage: 20-21 and 27-28 October, 3-4 and 24-25 November, 1-2 and 8-9 December
UEFA Europa League 2020/21
Preliminary round: 20 August
First qualifying round: 27 August
Second qualifying round: 17 September
Third qualifying round: 24 September
Play-offs: 1 October
Group stage: 22 and 29 October, 5 and 26 November, 3 and 10 December
International football will return in October and November with the 2020/21 UEFA Nations League. Games in those months were originally intended to be double-headers but will now be triple-headers instead due to the loss of September from the original calendar.
Euro 2020, which will be played in 2021 despite keeping its original names, has kept all 12 original host cities across the continent. An updated match schedule beginning on 11 June 2021 in Rome and finishing with the final on 11 July 2021 in London has also been approved.
All original and existing Euro 2020 tickets remain valid.