The UEFA Executive Committee yesterday announced that Istanbul, which was originally appointed to stage 2020 final, will now host the 2021 UEFA Champions League Final.
The Hotel Association of Turkey TÜROB Chairman Müberra Eresin stated that they welcomed 2021 final to be held in Istanbul with an audience. Emphasizing that many accommodation facilities in Istanbul received prepayment for the guests coming to Istanbul for the 2020 Champions League Final, Eresin noted that with UEFA’s final decision, the refund of these payments will not be obligatory. Eresin stated that the advances received will be deducted for the 2021 Champions League Final.
Ms. Eresin said, “It was on the agenda that the 2020 final will be held in Istanbul without an audience. With the support of the Turkish Football Federation, we indicated our preference to host the final game in 2021 and with spectators. We expect to welcome 50-60 thousand international spectators to Istanbul for the 2021 Champions League Final.”
The 2019-2020 Champions League, suspended since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, will be completed as a straight knockout tournament in Lisbon, Portugal in August.
Quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will be single-leg fixtures. The games will be split between Benfica’s Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (which will host the final) and Sporting CP’s Estádio José Alvalade.
A decision is pending on whether the remaining round of 16 second legs will take place at the home team’s stadium or in Portugal. The Estádio do Dragão in Porto and the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques in Guimarães will host the four outstanding second legs if required.
The 2019/20 UEFA Champions League has been on hold since Wednesday 11 March due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The revised schedule to conclude this season’s competition was confirmed following Wednesday’s UEFA Executive Committee meeting.
2019/20 UEFA Champions League schedule
7-8 August: Round of 16 second legs (venues to be confirmed)
12-15 August: Quarter-finals (Lisbon)
18-19 August: Semi-finals (Lisbon)
23 August: Final (Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon)
All fixtures will kick off at 21:00 CET. The quarter-final and semi-final draws will take place in Nyon on 10 July; the exact match schedule will then follow.
Upcoming UEFA Champions League finals
The 2019/20 final was due to be held at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul which will now instead stage the 2020/21 showpiece. The three subsequent final venues have also agreed to host a year later than originally planned.
2020: Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon, Portugal
2021: Atatürk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul, Turkey
2022: Saint Petersburg Stadium, Saint Petersburg, Russia
2023: Football Arena Munich, Munich, Germany
2024: Wembley Stadium, London, England
UEFA medical protocol and matches behind closed doors
The key principles of the UEFA medical protocol were also approved on Wednesday, and detailed guidelines will now be finalised over the next few weeks to ensure that a thorough sanitary plan be put in place to protect the health of all participants to UEFA matches when the competitions resume.
UEFA will be regularly assessing the situation across the continent and will liaise with local authorities to see when spectators could gradually return.
UEFA also announced further changes in this year’s competitions; Europa League 2019/20, UEFA Women’s Champions League 2019/20, UEFA Youth League 2019/20, and UEFA Super Cup 2020.