Lisbon to stage Champions League event



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Champions League in Lisbon Image: viator.com

The city of Lisbon is set to host a Champions League mini-tournament in a bid to finally finish the delayed competition. However, on June 17, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) will announce the host of the Champions League blitz tournament when a clear picture will emerge as to who will be the host of the Champions League event.

The final was slated to take place in Istanbul (Turkey) on May 30 before it was postponed indefinitely by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is said that Istanbul hosting without any fans in attendance will not be financially viable and so UEFA have decided that the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of Europe’s premier club competition will take place in the same city.

The UEFA Champions League is an annual club football competition organized by the UEFA and contested by top-division European clubs, deciding the competition winners.

Moscow and Russia had expressed interest but UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin is believed to have knocked the country back due to the huge number of coronavirus cases, while Germany, specifically Frankfurt, was also an option but the feeling was that it would give an advantage to the two Bundesliga sides.

Currently, the competition has only completed four rounds of 16 fixtures and, the final stages of the tournament are to take place across Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon.

Frankfurt (in Germany) has missed the bus – the Champions League blitz tournament will not be held in Frankfurt in August. Media reports stated that the Portuguese capital Lisbon won the race and will hold the event between August 8-29.

The German Football Association (DFB) entered the race with Frankfurt, Portugal with Lisbon and Russia with Moscow. Russia was quickly out of the race with UEFA bosses concerned about the high coronavirus cases in Russia.

The European Football Union wants to end the present Champions League season in August as part of a so-called “blitz tournament” at only one location. In addition to Moscow and Lisbon, the German Football Association, together with the city of Frankfurt, also applied for the tournament but did not meet success.
 

UEFA prefers Lisbon

UEFA has opted for Lisbon to hold the tournament the reason being no Portuguese club is represented in the premier class, which supports the neutrality of the location. Media reports further stated that Portugal meets UEFA’s requirements in terms of stadium selection and tax exemptions. A final decision on the same will be taken on by June 17 or June 18 when the UEFA Executive Committee meets. The administrative body UEFA is also looking into the fact that the coronavirus cases in Lisbon are way less when compared to Moscow.
 

‘Consolation’ for Frankfurt

Frankfurt and the German Football Association (DFB) are still hoping to stage the Europa League tournament, which will also be held next summer. However, it is currently unclear when UEFA will advertise the Europa League tournament.

However, Frankfurt is sulking over UEFA preferring Lisbon as it evinced keen interest in holding the Championship League. DFB President Fritz Keller also hugely supported Frankfurt’s bid. However, the DFB bosses had a lot of reservations when last week UEFA’s massive catalog of requirements for the Champions League blitz tournament arrived at the DFB office.

The tournament should be held in about 10 days, probably in the time window between August 8 and 29.

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