Champions League to be completed with eight-team tournament in Lisbon

Soccer Football – UEFA Executive Committee Press Conference – Nyon, Switzerland – June 17, 2020 UEFA Deputy General Secretary Giorgio Marchetti during a press conference following the UEFA Executive Committee meeting at the UEFA headquarters UEFA Pool/Handout via REUTERS

BERN (Reuters) – This season’s Champions League, suspended in March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will be completed with an eight-team mini-tournament which will be held in Lisbon in August, European soccer’s governing body UEFA said on Wednesday.

The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be staged over one leg, instead of the usual two, with the final to be held on Aug. 23, UEFA deputy general secretary Giorgio Marchetti said after an executive committee meeting held by video conference.

The four last-16, second leg matches which still have to be played — Manchester City v Real Madrid, Bayern Munich v Chelsea, Juventus v Olympique Lyonnais and Barcelona v Napoli — will take place on Aug. 7/8, either at the originally scheduled venues or in Portugal.

Paris St Germain, Atletico Madrid, Atalanta and RB Leipzig have already qualified for the quarter-finals.

The plan allows for a 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.

Istanbul, which was due to host the 2020 final, will now instead be the venue for the 2021 edition, with all other scheduled hosts moving back a year, UEFA said.

A similar format will be used to decide the Europa League competition at German venues from Aug. 10 to Aug. 21.

Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Alex Richardson and Christian Radnedge

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