UEFA is going to complete the Champions League with a 'Final Eight' tournament held for more than 11 days in Lisbon, as per a plan that will be presented to their executive committee for the ratification on Wednesday.
A source having the knowledge of the discussions between the clubs and European football's governing mentioned that to Reuters of the proposal being expected to be agreed upon following a consensus was reached on Monday.
UEFA did not respond to a request for comment. Under the plan the competition, which was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, will resume with the second-leg of remaining last 16 games played at the scheduled venues. The single-leg quarter-final games will be played in Lisbon on four straight days from Aug. 12-15.
Champions League Final Eight to Take Place in Lisbon
The semi-finals will take place on August 18 and 19 and the final on Aug. 23 in the Portuguese capital. The plan allows for quicker completion of the season than the traditional two-legged home and away format but does mean the competition will have six fewer games which will cost UEFA broadcast revenue.
The games are likely to be shared between Lisbon's two major stadiums - Benfica's Estadio da Luz and Sporting Lisbon's Jose Alvalade stadium. Organizers are proceeding on the basis that matches will be played behind-closed-doors but UEFA is understood to have left the door open for possible changes should public health conditions in Portugal allow.
The teams already qualified for the quarter-finals are France's Paris St Germain, Italy's Atalanta, Spain's Atletico Madrid and Germany's RB Leipzig. The remaining last 16 second-leg fixtures are Manchester City's home leg against Real Madrid, Chelsea's trip to Bayern Munich, Juventus's home game against Olympique Lyonnais and Napoli's visit to Barcelona.
Istanbul Was Due to Host 2020 Final
Istanbul was due to host 2020 final but will now, instead be the venue for the 2021 edition, with all other scheduled hosts moving back a year. A similar format will be used to decide the Europa League competition at German venues from Aug. 10. The remaining last 16 games will be held at neutral venues in Germany with the 'Final Eight' held in Duisburg, Duesseldorf, Gelsenkirchen and Cologne.
Manchester United, AS Roma and Inter Milan are among the teams still involved in the Europa League. The traditional opener to the European season, the UEFA Super Cup, is expected to be held in Budapest on Sept. 24.
(With agency inputs)