June 26 – Is the eagerly awaited revised climax to the Champions League, set for Lisbon in August, suddenly in jeopardy?
Last week UEFA announced that the remainder of the competition, which was suspended in March at the last-16 stage because of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be completed with a mouth-watering single-leg format from the quarterfinals onwards in the Portuguese capital in August.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said there was no plan B in place for the unprecedented tournament which is being staged between August 12 and August 23 .
But reports out of Portugal say 19 of 24 districts in the capital have, for the 4th day in a row, seen more infections than recoveries.
The newspaper El País reported that of the 311 infections registered on June 24, 77% were in Lisbon including six deaths, with residents urged to stay at home unless they have to work or shop.
The paper warns that if the fresh outbreak is not contained, UEFA’s plans could be imperilled.
In a statement UEFA took a non-commital approach but said it was still confident of the competition taking place.
“UEFA is in constant contact with the Portuguese Football Federation, as well as being in permanent contact with the Portuguese authorities,” it said. “We hope that everything will be fine and that it will be possible to organise the final eight in Portugal. There is currently no reason to have a plan B, but we are assessing the situation daily and we will adapt when the time comes and if necessary.”
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org