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Uefa could return to Champions League ‘final eight’ sudden death format in 2024

admin | October 19, 2020

Uefa says a ‘final eight’ will be considered as a way to round off the Champions League and Europa League from 2024.

The single-country, one-leg format was adopted for practical purposes as an effective way to conclude the competitions last season in a campaign badly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, and proved to be a big hit as a spectacle.

European football’s governing body is bound by contracts with broadcasters to revert to the regular two-legged system for quarter-finals and semi-finals for the rest of the current cycle, but has not ruled out a change to the format beyond that.

Giorgio Marchetti, Uefa’s deputy general secretary, said: “A good rule is to never exclude something which proves valuable or has potential.

“We know there are many elements that need to be taken into account, such as calendar and organisational constraints, fans’ involvement, economic implications, but we will for sure study this format and its variations for our upcoming discussions.


Giorgio Marchetti refused to rule out a change to the competition’s format

“Single knock-out matches obviously favour uncertainty and emotions.

“We received great feedback from clubs, broadcasters and other partners as well as from the fans. The circumstances made this format a must, but the result could not be better as well as the degree of satisfaction.”

The 2019-20 Champions League’s final stages took place in Lisbon, while the German cities of Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen hosted the conclusion of the Europa League.

The Women’s Champions League finale was staged in the Basque cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian, while the men’s Youth Champions League was completed in Switzerland.

Marchetti admitted staging all four competitions had been the result of great co-operation.

“The football community really worked together: without the joint work and unity of intents with national associations, leagues and clubs nothing would have been achieved,” he said.


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