All that you need to know about Champions League mini-tournament
Portugal could hold the UEFA Champions League mini-tournament as UEFA bids to complete their flagship tournament in August, according to reports in Germany. The final is set to be moved from Istanbul, Turkey, with the city expected to struggle to make up the cost of hosting the event without travelling fans. Here's more details on the mini-tournament.
Istanbul was set to host the showpiece final on May 30 but reports claim there have been talks between the host city and UEFA. According to a report in BILD, the matches from the quarter-finals onwards could now be relocated to Lisbon, with the Portuguese city reportedly ahead of Frankfurt in the running.
The report adds that UEFA will announce the hosts of the revised tournament during its rescheduled meeting on June 17. The German FA supposedly proposed holding the competition in Frankfurt, while their Portuguese and Russian counterparts put forward their capital cities in Lisbon and Moscow respectively. Russia is out of the running for hosting the mini-tournament due to the high number of coronavirus cases.
Lisbon is also reportedly the favourites to hold the competition because there are no more Portuguese sides left in the Champions League this season. Meanwhile, holding the tournament in Frankfurt would allegedly be seen as giving the remaining German sides home advantage in the quarter-finals. Lisbon also complies with UEFA's political demands, as well as having a sufficient number of available stadiums.
The likes of Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Paris Saint-Germain and Atalanta have all qualified for the quarter-finals in this year's competition. However, there are four ties with a last 16 second-leg match still to be played. Manchester City lead Real Madrid 2-1, whereas, Bayern Munich have a 3-0 cushion over Chelsea. Lyon lead Juventus 1-0, whereas, Napoli and Barcelona played out a 1-1 draw.
With 17 fixtures left in the UCL, UEFA was previously understood to be considering playing matches behind closed doors every three days. UEFA is reportedly hoping to resume the Champions League and Europa League knockout stages on August 7. Games would then be played twice a week, with the semi-finals played between August 18 and 22. The final could be hosted on August 29.