NEWS
Sunday August 23 2020
Ceferin: 'Interesting Final Eight format'

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin confirms the Final Eight Champions League and Europa League format is ‘very interesting’ and might be used again ‘in future.’

The quarter-finals onwards were transformed from two-legged ties to one-off knockout matches on neutral turf, similar to an international tournament such as the World Cup.

It had to be adopted for the 2019-20 season because the lockdown and COVID-19 crisis left precious little time to complete the tournament, not to mention limited venues.

The conclusion is this evening in Lisbon between PSG and Bayern Munich.

“We were forced to do it but in the end we see that we found out something new. So we will think about it in the future for sure,” Ceferin told Reuters.

“(There has been) not so much tactics. If it is one match, if one team scores then the other has to score as soon as possible. If it is two legged system then there is still time to win the next match.

“More exciting matches for sure but of course we also have to think about the fact that we have less matches and broadcasters (can) say ‘you don’t have as many matches as before, this is different’ so we will have to discuss when this crazy situation ends.”

Although the Champions League is contractually locked down to this format until the 2024-25 season, the Final Eight will be part of discussions later this year.

“Look for sure it is a very interesting format. Now, I doubt as much as the calendar is now, that we could do a final eight (tournament), because it would take too much time. But a format with one match and a system like it is now, I think it would be much more exciting than the format that was before,” continued Ceferin.

“If we would play this system then, but we haven’t discussed with anyone, it’s just an idea, we would play in one city. If you play in one city, you can have a week of football or something like that. But it is far too early to think about it.

“We have seen it as a big success and the viewership over TV has been huge, maybe it also good because it is August and people are at home, some of them at least, but interesting, interesting tournament.”

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