The UEFA has finally unveiled one of the questions that hovered over the new format Champions League devised to finish the competition. Which was interrupted by the pandemic coronavirus when eight teams were still finishing their qualifying round. It was not yet known where the return matches of those crossings that are still missing to have the complete quarterfinal table would be played and two alternatives were proposed. Namely that they were played in the stadiums of the teams that had to be local in the return or that they were played in Portugal; the country has chosen to finish the competition from the quarterfinals. Finally, UEFA has decided that the playoffs will end in the fields of the teams that have to play at home.
The remaining games to be played are the following: Barcelona vs Napoli (1-1 in the first leg); Manchester City vs Real Madrid (1-2 for the English in the first leg); Juventus vs Olympique Lyonnais (1-0 for the French in the first leg) and Bayern Munich vs Chelsea (0-3 in the first leg for the Germans).
Champions League Second round
In this way, Barca, City, Juve, and Bayern will play the round in their respective stadiums, although behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. The dates these games will be played will be August 7 and 8. It will be tomorrow, in the draw for the final table of the Champions League, when the exact dates of each match are known.
Four other teams ( Atletico Madrid, PSG, Atalanta, and Red Bull Leipzig ) had already qualified for the quarterfinals because they were able to complete their qualifying rounds before the suspension of competitions due to the coronavirus, decreed last March.
The UEFA warned in its official communication that “continue to monitor the situation and reserves the right to reallocate these parties to the headquarters of the final tournament of the relevant jurisdiction if they occur new events that make it impossible to play one or more games in original venues ”. In other words, if the European body considers that it is better to take the second-round matches to Portugal, as it was proposed as an alternative, it will do so.
Behind closed doors
The UEFA recalled that matches will be played behind closed doors: On June 17, 2020; the Executive Committee of UEFA decided to postpone the decision on whether the next UEFA could accommodate his followers or whether they would be held behind closed doors, to monitor the evolution of the situation and the measures taken by local authorities in mass meetings and attendance at sporting events ”.
The UEFA took into account several elements to making a decision, such as protecting the health of all involved parties and the general public; the responsibility to provide the safest environment for matches to ensure the progress of competitions; as well as guaranteeing sports equity within a very inconsistent landscape (with some countries that allow and some prohibitions on attendance at the stadium).
Consequently, in light of the current situation, the UEFA Executive Committee considered it prudent to conclude that UEFA matches should take place behind closed doors until further notice. This decision was made in agreement with the national federations and authorities of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League; the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League and the final of the eight 2019/20; UEFA Women’s Champions League tournaments in Portugal, Germany, and Spain. This restriction will also apply to the remaining matches in the 2019/20 UEFA Youth League.
UEFA will monitor the evolution of the situation and advise on the total or partial lifting of restrictions at the appropriate time.