Lisbon (in Portugal) and Cologne (in Germany) have been confirmed to stage the finals of ‘Final Eight’ tournaments to conclude this season’s Champions League and Europa League. This announcement was made by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) last week.
The Executive Committee of European football’s governing body met via video conference and arrived at several decisions as regards the regulations, format, calendar and venues for a variety of club and national team competitions.
For Euro 2020, the 12 original host cities have been confirmed as venues for the final tournament to be held in the summer of 2021. Wembley Stadium (in UK) and Johan Cruijff ArenA (in Netherlands) were last month reportedly the two host venues that had yet to provide the necessary legal guarantees to stage the postponed tournament.
In March this year, UEFA decided to delay Euro 2020, which was due to be staged this summer in 12 different European countries and was rescheduled to new dates of June 11 to July 11, 2021, over the unprecedented health crisis which has emerged due to the outbreak of COVID-19 which has the world in its stranglehold. The sporting showpiece was rescheduled to avoid placing further pressure on national public services during COVID-19.
The tournament was due to be held across 12 stadia in 12 different nations, and had been scheduled to kick off in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on June 12 this year. Wembley Stadium was to serve as the centerpiece of Euro 2020, with the final, semi-finals, Round of 16 and group stage games taking place in London.
Munich (Allianz Arena in Germany), Baku (Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Gazprom Arena in Russia), Copenhagen (Parken Stadium in Denmark), Dublin (Aviva Stadium in Ireland), Glasgow (Hampden Park in Scotland), Bucharest (Arena Naționala in Romania), Amsterdam (Johan Cruijff ArenA in Netherlands), Bilbao (San Mamés in Spain) and Budapest (Puskás Aréna in Hungary) are also due to stage games.
With the Grands Départs of cycling’s Tour de France also due to take place in the Danish capital Copenhagen next year, questions were raised over whether the two major events could be held at the same time in Copenhagen. However, an agreement was reached on the same last month.
Speculations were rife earlier this week as regards UEFA’s plans to conclude the 2019-20 Champions League and Europa League seasons, but were confirmed on Wednesday. For the Champions League, the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final will be played as a final eight straight knock-out tournament at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica and the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon between August 12-23, 2020.
The remaining Round of 16 second-leg matches will be played on August 7-8, 2020, pending a decision on whether they will take place at the home team’s stadiums or in Portugal. The Estádio do Dragão in Porto (Portugal) and the Estádio Dom Afonso Henriques in Guimarães (Portugal) will be added to Lisbon’s venues for the Round of 16, if necessary.
The quarter-finals will take place from August 12-15, semi-finals on August 18-19 and the final at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, more popularly known as Estadio da Luz (in Portugal), on August 23.