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UEFA Conference to determine ways to continue the suspension of the Champions League

16 Jun 2020

When football resumes across Europe following a lengthy absence, UEFA will reveal the structure for the Champions League's latter stages at a crucial conference on Wednesday that will also lift the thorny question of the delayed, pan-continental Euro 2020. 

Before the last-16 stage had been completed, the Champions League was suspended in mid-March as the sport grounded to a halt when the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold. 

Initially, the controlling body of European football had planned to complete its signature competition by the end of June — along with the Europa League and the Women's Champions League. 

It quickly became apparent that such a prediction was unnecessarily ambitious, and the hope of ending the season at all seemed sparse at the height of the pandemic in Europe. 

Nonetheless, UEFA has been working for some period on the way to finish its August season, which looks feasible as leagues restart, and Covid-19 slows the European death toll. 

With this perspective, the meeting of the Executive Committee, to be conducted by videoconferencing, is expected to accept the notion of a "Last Eight" in Lisbon, as frequently stated in recent days by media across Europe. 

This will involve seeking a way to carry out the last four last 16, second legs before putting together all the quarter-finalists in Portugal's capital to name the European champions for a set of one-off games. The final will be on August 23, according to the news. 

In the immediate sense, the wisest approach is to bring all teams together in one venue and minimize travel, but it remains to be seen how many people, if any, will participate. 

Football is played behind closed doors in most nations. Still, in the same week, UEFA 's conference arrives other EU Member States — Portugal among them — opened up to international tourists once again. 

The final was set to be played on May 30 in Istanbul, and just last week, Turkey's sports minister, Mehmet Kasapoglu, expressed faith the region will not miss out. 

"I have no question that this will take shape in Turkey in the right way. We 're sure we'll get positive news on June 17," he added. 

However, the New York Times reported last month that Istanbul could be awarded a future final instead when traveling in large numbers is safe for the fans. 

Source: Barron's