Uefa postpones European finals indefinitely and considers one-leg ties
Uefa, European soccer’s governing body, has postponed the finals of the Champions League and Europa League, its major club competitions, indefinitely and could consider one-legged matches for some ties to finish the competition.
The body had initially pushed the finals of the two competitions back last week, with the Champions League showpiece being moved to 27 June and the Europa League shifting to 24 June, as the original May dates cannot be fulfilled with major European leagues suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Champions League final is taking place in Istanbul, Turkey, with the Europa League equivalent to be held in Gdansk in Poland.
The indefinite postponements of the finals, along with the Women's Champions League final, have been set primarily to allow leagues to finish their respective campaigns.
The leagues made a commitment to finish their seasons by 30 June under agreements reached with Uefa in video conference meetings last Tuesday but have since been allowed to continue their postponements indefinitely.
Uefa already took the step to postpone this summer’s European Championships until 2021 to free up June and July for club games to take place.
Uefa is now considering several options but is believed to still be hopeful of staging the finals on the dates it announced in June, although these always appeared tentative with the current situation escalating on a daily basis across the continent.
The governing body’s priority is to finish the Champions League and Europa League campaigns this year but the two competitions are at varying stages.
At present, only four of the eight last-16 ties have been concluded in the Champions League, while in the Europa League, six first-leg ties have been played but two are still outstanding due to postponements.
It is believed that Uefa could propose single matches for those ties which are yet to begin in both competitions and only allow second legs to take place for ties which concluded first leg games earlier this month.
The quarter-finals and semi-finals could also be one-legged affairs.
It is understood that an agreement is in place for matches in either competition to be held on weekends if necessary and it is no longer compulsory for the Champions League final to be the last club game of the season on the European soccer calendar.
This means the qualifying rounds for the 2020-21 Uefa club competitions could begin before the major leagues have completed their respective seasons.