No repeat of Champions League ‘Final Eight’ in future, says UEFA chief | Football News

LISBON: The ‘Final Eight’ format for the Champions League won’t be repeated in future, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has instructed AFP, saying it’s “unimaginable” to search out area in an already packed calendar.
“This event is perhaps fascinating sooner or later, however I do not suppose we are able to do it, as a result of the calendar is so dense,” Ceferin instructed AFP in an unique interview in Lisbon, the place this season’s Champions League is being performed to a conclusion.
“I do not know the place I can put a event for every week or two in May. I feel it is unimaginable,” he stated.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, UEFA was busy considering adjustments to the format of the Champions League from 2024 onwards.
This yr, all ties from the quarter-finals onwards are being performed as one-off matches behind closed doorways within the Portuguese capital as UEFA rushes to complete the competitors after an enforced hiatus of 5 months due to the pandemic.
This season’s last was presupposed to be performed in Istanbul on the finish of May. Now it should go forward in an empty Estadio da Luz on August 23, with the Turkish metropolis having been awarded the internet hosting of subsequent yr’s last as an alternative.
But that’s topic to the pandemic being below management by then.
“I’m optimistic by nature, and I feel that issues will get higher into subsequent yr and we can have regular soccer again, good previous soccer with spectators, so we do not have a Plan B,” Ceferin stated.
“You need to know that till March we did not have any plan, after which we had a Plan B, Plan C, Plan D, so we are going to adapt however I’m positive the world can’t cease ceaselessly due to this virus,” added Ceferin, the Slovenian who grew to become president of European soccer’s governing physique in 2016.
“I count on a vaccine, as quickly as attainable I hope, so no, we do not have a plan to do the identical competitors subsequent yr.”
Ceferin was talking the day after Paris Saint-Germain beat Atalanta 2-1 in a dramatic first quarter-final of the competitors.
The ‘Final Eight’ is happening in strict situations, together with common testing and the variety of individuals getting into stadiums stored to a minimal.
On Thursday, Atletico Madrid play RB Leipzig within the second quarter-final, with the Spaniards arriving in Portugal after a scare on the weekend when it was revealed two of their gamers had examined constructive for COVID-19.
Ceferin stated he was at all times assured the Champions League could be accomplished, together with the Europa League, which is being performed to a end in related situations in Germany.
“I used to be positive that we’d do that. I had moments of nervousness however I by no means gave up on the venture,” he stated.
“At the second, now all of the groups are in Portugal and in a bubble, I’m a lot calmer. Because when they’re at residence, they usually meet household and associates, it’s at all times a threat.”

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