UEFA ‘is considering holding Champions League semifinals and finals in ONE city from 2024 for a week of 2024’ in an effort to create a Super Bowl equivalent following the success of last season’s tournament in Lisbon as as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic
- UEFA wants the semi-finals and final of the Champions League in one city for a week
- They are considering making the change when the new format goes into effect in 2024
- The quarter finals were held in Lisbon last year because of Covid-19
- UEFA wants to create a Super Bowl equivalent with a week of festivities for fans
- Manchester City and Chelsea meet on Saturday in the final of this season in Porto
UEFA is reportedly considering making major changes to the Champions League format, with the semi-finals and final being played in one city over the course of a week.
The main club competition of European football had to hold matches from the quarter-finals in the Portuguese capital Lisbon last season due to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The games were played as knockout matches in one match at neutral venues in Lisbon, with Bayern Munich ultimately emerging as the winner against Paris Saint-Germain in the final.
UEFA wants the Champions League final phase to be played in one city for a week from 2024
UEFA has already made massive changes to the competition, but now they want more
The new format proved to be a hit with a huge global TV audience and the single match knockout system gave the ties an extra dramatic element.
According to The New York Times, UEFA will now unveil a plan to change the format to something similar for this weekend’s Champions League final between Chelsea and Manchester City in Porto.
It will be the ‘champions week’ and will have two semifinals and the final in one city in the same week. The final would still be held in its traditional Saturday night slot.
The plan also includes a schedule of concerts, games and other events to keep supporters busy throughout the week.
The plan is said to be ‘under serious consideration’, but UEFA has yet to issue an official plan as clubs are still not involved in the discussions.
Games from the quarter-finals were played in Lisbon last year because of Covid-19
UEFA would have liked to copy the Super Bowl concept of the NFL, where there is a whole week of build-up and events before the game on a Sunday.
Concerns from officials that massive TV revenue could be lost by missing two semifinals have prevented change.
But UEFA now believes that the TV audience that would gather to watch a one-off match could lessen the financial impact of getting rid of a second leg.
The plan is thought to be welcomed by Europe’s elite clubs, desperate to reduce the number of games their players have to play.
During last year’s Lisbon version of the mini tournament format, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said: ‘If it is one match and one team scores, then the other must score as quickly as possible
“If it’s a two-legged system, there’s still time to win the next game.”
UEFA is not worried about the loss of revenue from getting rid of two semi-finals
Any changes will not take effect until 2024, when the new Champions League format begins.
Amid the backdrop of last month’s doomed European Super League, UEFA made massive changes to the Champions League format from 2024.
Due to the turmoil, the total number of teams has increased from 32 to 36 and the traditional group stage is being abolished.
Instead, a single league phase will be devised, encompassing all 36 teams participating, with each team guaranteed to get 10 ‘league phase’ matches.
Five of those games will be home and the other five will not be home.
Manchester City and Chelsea descend to Porto for Saturday’s Champions League final
The eight best teams of that ‘competition phase’ format will automatically advance to the knockout phase.
The remaining teams running from ninth to 24th would then enter two-legged eliminators to determine the other eight teams in the last 16.
The football world was shocked last month after 12 clubs – including the Premier League’s Big Six – signed up for the breakaway Super League, which threatened the future of UEFA elite leagues and the viability of domestic leagues.
In a chaotic 48 hours amid massive protests from across Europe from fans, media and even politicians, plans came to a halt with teams pulling out one by one.
However, Barça, Real Madrid and Juventus have still not relinquished their involvement with UEFA as they consider removing those three clubs from their competitions.