The UEFA Executive Committee has confirmed that the remaining UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League Round of 16 second-leg matches will be played at the home teams’ stadiums.
UEFA will take out a draw today (Friday) at its Nyon headquarters to confirm the respective fixutures.
However, UEFA will continue to monitor the situation. If it won’t be possible to play a match at the home team’s stadium for any unwarranted development, UEFA will relocate the game to the venues of the final tournament.
MATCHES BEHIND CLOSED DOORS
UEFA Executive Committee has decided to conduct all the matches behind closed doors. The committee on June 17 had postponed the decision on allowing fans for the matches.
The decision was made in agreement with the national associations and authorities of the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League, 2019/20 UEFA Europa League and 2019/20 UEFA Women’s Champions League final eight tournaments’ hosts Portugal, Germany and Spain. This restriction will also apply to the remaining matches in the 2019/20 UEFA Youth League.
Several elements were taken into account by UEFA when making a decision, such as the protection of the health of all those involved in the matches as well as the public at large; a responsibility to provide the safest environment for matches in order to guarantee the progress of competitions; as well as ensuring sporting fairness within a very inconsistent landscape (with some countries allowing and some forbidding stadium attendances), UEFA has stated.
UEFA will, however, continue to monitor the situation and advise on any full or partial lifting of restrictions at the appropriate time.
RETURN TO PLAY PROTOCOL
The UEFA Return to Play Protocol which sets out the framework of sanitary and hygiene-related procedures, including in relation to testing, as well as operational protocols that will be applied when staging UEFA competition matches was approved.
The Protocol may be supplemented in due course with specific operational guidelines covering either aspect of its implementation or specific competitions.
It will be mandatory for all clubs and national associations – as well as their players, officials, staff and contractors – to comply with the Protocol and any related guidelines as a condition for participation in any upcoming UEFA competitions.
VIDEO ASSISTANCE REFEREEING
The UEFA Executive Committee decided to postpone the implementation of VAR in the UEFA Europa League group phase to the 2021/22 season.
The decision is taken in light of the current uncertainties caused by the epidemiological crisis which may have an impact on operational capabilities and given that additional personnel might be required to run the service which in turn might have an impact on the UEFA Return to Play Protocol.
VAR nevertheless remains confirmed in the knock-out phase of the competition for the 2020/21 season as from the Round of 32 and will continue to assist the referees with the restart of the 2019/20 Round of 16.
As per the original planning, Video Assistant Referee (VAR) was to be introduced in the UEFA Europa League as from the 2020/21 season, starting with the group phase. The Executive Committee, based on a positive feasibility assessment, had earlier decided to introduce it already in the 2019/20 UEFA Europa League knock-out phase.