April 17 – UEFA is holding a pivotal meeting of its executive committee next week which could finally decide how to conclude this season’s Champions League and Europa League with reports suggesting the two finals could take place at the end of August at their scheduled venues, Istanbul and Gdansk.
The top brass of European football’s governing body will meet by video conference on April 23 for more discussions about how to complete a campaign that has been wrecked by Covid-19.
Before that, the heads of each of UEFA’s 55 member associations will be consulted next Tuesday to examine developments across the Continent while UEFA is also set to meet by video conference with the European Club Association (ECA) and the European Leagues grouping on Wednesday, meaning all main stakeholder groups will have a say before any firm decisions are made.
Reports suggest a likely confirmation of the postponement of the next women’s European Championship by a year to 2022 – following the earlier decision to postpone the men to 2021 – and also a possible ruling to play the Champions League final in Istanbul on August 29, three months after the original May 30 date, and the Europa League final three days earlier.
With the Champions League halfway through the last-16 stage – four of the eight quarter-finalists are so far known – two scenarios are apparently under consideration.
The first, when the last-16 is over, is to play the quarter-finals and semi-finals as two-legged matches as normal, in July and August. The second would be for the games to be played as one-off fixtures whenever the domestic seasons end, squeezing the latter stages of the competition into a week-long mini tournament, presumably behind closed doors.
The Europa League is more complicated because all eight last-16 second-leg ties are still to be played.
Whatever UEFA decide, much depends on where the virus is at its most virulent and in whether public health authorities allow football to resume.
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