Coronavirus: Lisbon lockdown will not derail Champions League finale, says Ceferin

July 1 – Despite a spike in Covid-19 cases, Lisbon is still set to host the eagerly awaited finale of this season’s Champions League following talks between the relevant authorities.

From today, 19 neighbourhoods north of Lisbon will go back into lockdown, with gatherings limited to five people.

But following discussions between UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa and Portuguese Football Federation president Fernando Gomes,  it was agreed that the unprecedented mini-tournament scheduled for August will go ahead as planned.

“I would like to thank the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa for his dedication to this project and the work he is doing alongside the Portuguese Football Federation to ensure that Portugal delivers a successful tournament,” said Ceferin who admitted recently that he had had sleepless nights about the effects of Covid-19 on European football.

“I am confident that with the continued and constant collaboration between all stakeholders, we will conclude the season in a positive way in Lisbon. There is no need for a Plan B.”

The pandemic caused UEFA’s elite competition to be suspended in March, resulting in a unique final-eight event that is due to begin with the first quarter-final on August 12 and the final scheduled for August 23. Ties will be split between Benfica’s Stadium of Light and Sporting Lisbon’s Estadio Jose Alvalade.

The second legs of the unplayed last-16 fixtures are scheduled for August 7 and 8, although their venues have yet to be officially confirmed.

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