UEFA will tell its members today that they want the Champions League and Europa League finals to be settled by the end of August. European football’s governing body will host a video conference on Wednesday with the 55 member associations, to try to settle how both its’ major competitions will be settled this season.
Despite the fact that most of Europe is on lockdown with the coronavirus, UEFA are determined to finish both competitions this season, and will resist calls for them to be scrapped.
They are determined that both the Champions League – which still has some last-16 round ties to be settled, and the Europa League, still at the same stage – will be completed.
Originally, UEFA had wanted their season finished by June 30, but earlier this month they put back that date.
The decision will mean a truncated 2020-21 season, which was inevitable anyway, but Uefa will suggest several options to make the calendar more flexible, such as axing possibly as many as two of the early preliminary rounds of the Europa League, cutting out winter breaks in leagues that currently have them, and a cut in the number of group games in next terms Champions League.
UEFA’s working group have already drawn up several options for finishing this seasons’ competitions, including playing games behind closed doors, and playing at weekends.
There are options for the quarter-finals stages of each competition to be played over one leg, with the venue decided on the toss of a coin.
And for the semi-finals and finals there are proposals that each be played as a four-team tournament over four days at the current venues of Istanbul and Gdansk, with the semi-finals and finals both over one leg only.
The Champions League final was originally scheduled to take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Turkey on May 30.
While the Europa League final was intended to be held on Mary 27 at the Stadion Energa Gdansk in Poland.
Liverpool, the defending Champions League winners, were dumped out of the competition in the final round of action before the coronavirus outbreak ground professional football to a halt.
The game controversially went ahead despite the World Health Organisation declaring COVID-19 a pandemic.
Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti recently revealed that Jurgen Klopp felt the match should not have gone ahead.
“I spoke with Klopp a few days ago, he told me that the decision to play Liverpool-Atletico was a criminal act and I think he’s right,” Ancelotti said.