Covid concerns force UEFA to move Champions League draw from Athens to Nyon

September 10 – UEFA have shifted the draw for the Champions League and the Europe League away from Athens to Nyon over Covid-19 concerns.

The Greek capital had been due to host the group stage draw for UEFA’s two flagship club competitions, but after talks with local authorities UEFA decided to move the event to the safety of their home base in Nyon.

In a statement, the European confederation wrote that: “In spite of the globally acknowledged effective handling of the COVID-19 pandemic by the Greek authorities, all parties agreed that the top priority must remain public health and that it currently would not be possible to organise an event of such size with guests in Athens, as it would violate public health restrictions and constraints regarding indoor events.”

The draw traditionally precedes the big kick-off in European club football and unites club representatives and media in a small auditorium to see UEFA director of competitions Giorgio Marchetti decide their fate in the group stages of the Champions League or Europa League, but this year’s draw will take place behind closed doors due to health restrictions. The draw for the Champions League on October 1 will be followed by the draw for the Europa League a day later.

This season’s Champions League will get underway on October 20 and culminate with the final in Istanbul on May 29. The Turkish capital had been due to host the showpiece event last season, but following the coronavirus outbreak UEFA staged a final eight tournament in Lisbon to crown the new European champions, Bayern Munich.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1600633355labto1600633355ofdlr1600633355owedi1600633355sni@o1600633355fni1600633355