UEFA plan to resume both the Champions League and the Europa League in a new format in August, with both likely to take place in rescheduled ‘mini-tournaments’.
The Europa League final was originally set to be held in Gdansk on 27 May, but a suspension of play across all of Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic means that UEFA have needed to reschedule the latter stages.
A report from ESPN states that UEFA are now planning to resume the competition in August from the quarter-final stage, with one half of the round of 16 already being completed. The tournament will finish in a smaller format from Eintracht Frankfurt’s Commerzbank Arena, and the changes could be confirmed in a meeting on 17 June.
UEFA are targeting the switch from Gdansk to Frankfurt as the German team ‘possesses the infra-structure required to host eight teams and provide stadium and training facilities for those clubs involved’. Frankfurt Airport is also considered key to the decision, to ease travel complications.
The tournament would involve Manchester United, who won their round of 16 first leg against LASK in a 5-0 back in March, while the likes of Wolves, Rangers, Roma and Inter are still in the competition.
In similar fashion, the Champions League final was set to take place in Istanbul last month, but was called off along with the Europa League. The tournament is now set to resume in Lisbon, with UEFA targeting both Benfica and Sporting’s stadiums as potential hosts.
With Gdansk and Istanbul both set to lose out on hosting a major football tournament final, and provisional cities already determined for the next few tournaments, UEFA are expected to discuss a future plan with the two countries in order to compensate for the potential losses.