Uefa working to late-August goal for Champions League final
Uefa is drawing up plans under which European club soccer competitions would be concluded by the end of August.
Soccer leagues and other competitions across the continent are presently suspended as a result of the global coronavirus pandemic but, assuming fixtures can resume in the coming weeks and months, it is envisaged that the Champions League final, originally scheduled to take place in Istanbul on 27 June, will be held in the Turkish city on 29 August.
It would be preceded by the postponed Europa League final in Gdansk in Poland on 26 August.
Uefa is understood to be mulling two scenarios for resuming the competitions: one in which remaining Champions League and Europa League fixtures would be played alongside domestic league games in July and August; and the other in which the European club competition matches would be played in a block in August.
The Uefa executive committee is due to meet on 23 April to discuss the proposals, which have been facilitated by the decision to postpone the 2020 European Championships until 2021.
The 2019-20 Champions League and Europa League competitions were suspended part-way through the rounds of 16.
With the pandemic approaching its peak or having peaked in many European countries, national leagues are presently considering if and when they will be able to resume their 2019-20 seasons, most likely behind closed doors, with no spectators.
England’s Premier League is meeting today to consider its next move, with reports indicating that some clubs are applying pressure for the campaign to be completed by 30 June.
Meanwhile, Gabriele Gravina, the president of the FIGC, the Italian soccer federation, has proposed that the country’s top-tier Serie A be split into groups in 2020-21 to enable that season to be completed in just five months if the current campaign overruns.
Gravina told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: “We evaluate all the hypotheses. One is to organise competitions over a calendar year, but, again, coordination with all European federations is needed. Otherwise, we will have to close the season in May, before the European Championships.
"The 2021 [Serie A] championship could be played in five months. There are ideas on the table, for example a formula with two or more groups and then play-offs. Exceptional changes, only for one season."
Italy has been one of the countries most affected by the pandemic, and Gravina stressed that there was as yet no date for a resumption of professional soccer in the country.
He said: “We will go hand in hand with the other European leagues. If they let us play in early June, we have the dates to end in late July, and to follow, the cups. If instead we have to start again in September, we will close this championship in November and return to the field in January [for next season]."