UEFA ExCo: What we learned about the Champions League, Europa League and Euro 2020

By Sports Desk June 17, 2020

There was plenty to digest following UEFA's Executive Committee meeting on Wednesday.

European football's governing body finalised decisions for the completion of its 2019-20 club competitions, as well as details for its international competitions.

With so much to take in, we have broken down the key outcomes for the Champions League, Women's Champions League, Europa League, Euro 2020 and the Nations League.

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:

- Lisbon will host an eight-team tournament between August 12 and 23, with the final to take place at Benfica's Estadio da Luz.

- The remaining last-16 ties will take place at venues yet to be determined. If Portugal hosts these matches as well, Porto and Guimaraes will host games if necessary.

- Quarter-final and semi-final contests will be played as single-leg ties as opposed to the traditional two-leg showdowns.

- The draw for the quarters and semis will take place at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon on July 10.

- Extra time and penalties will be used as deciders for matches ending in a draw and teams will be allowed to make five substitutions (as will those in the Europa League) in line with temporary changes to the Laws of the Game.

- Istanbul, which was supposed to host the showpiece game, will now be the final venue for 2021.

- Newly transferred players will not allowed to be registered for the remaining rounds.

- The group stages of the 2020-21 Champions League will be begin in October, with September traditionally the start date for the competition proper.

- Qualifying rounds for next season's Champions League and Europa League will be played as single-leg fixtures, bar the play-off round of the Champions League.

EUROPA LEAGUE:

- Europe's secondary competition will take place as a straight knockout tournament from the quarter-finals onwards, with Germany to host matches between August 10 and 21.

- Matches will be played in Cologne, Duisburg, Dusseldorf and Gelsenkirchen.

- The six last-16 ties that have a second leg to be played will take place a venue yet to be concerned. 

- The last-16 contests between Inter and Getafe, and Sevilla and Roma will be single-leg affairs.

- Gdansk will host the 2021 Europa League final, having been originally slated to put on this year's showpiece.

- The 2020 Super Cup will take place at the Puskas Arena in Budapest on September 24. Porto was originally supposed to have the game.

- As with the Champions League, the Europa League group phase starts in October.

WOMEN'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:

- Like the men's tournament, the Women's Champions League will be completed as a straight knockout tournament from the quarter-finals.

- Matches will take place in Spain, with the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao and the Anoeta Stadium in San Sebastian putting on games between August 21 and 30.

- The draw for the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be held in Nyon on June 26.

- Gothenburg will be the host venue for the 2021 final.

EURO 2020/NATIONS LEAGUE:

- All 12 original host cities for Euro 2020 will remain in place for the rescheduled tournament taking place next year.

- The updated match schedule was also approved by the ExCo and UEFA said all existing tickets purchased by supporters will remain valid.

 - International windows in October and November 2020 will feature triple-headers so that postponed Euro 2020 play-off qualifiers can be played at the beginning of the respective windows on October 8 and November 12.

- Group-stage games for the 2020-21 Nations League will take place on the following dates: September 3/4/5 and 6/7/8; October 10/11 and 13/14; November 14/15 and 17/18.

Related items

  • Diego Maradona dies: FIFA should retire number 10 from football – Villas-Boas Diego Maradona dies: FIFA should retire number 10 from football – Villas-Boas

    Marseille head coach Andre Villas-Boas urged FIFA to "withdraw the number 10 for all competitions" to honour Diego Maradona.

    Maradona, widely regarded as one of the best players of all-time, died at the age of 60 on Wednesday after a suspected heart attack.

    He starred in the number 10 for Napoli and Argentina during his playing career, and the shirt was retired by the Serie A club in his honour in 2000.

    Villas-Boas wants to see FIFA go one step further and withdraw the number 10 completely.

    "For Maradona, it's a hard blow. I would like FIFA to withdraw the number 10 for all competitions, all teams," he told a news conference after Marseille's 2-0 Champions League loss to Porto on Wednesday.

    "I think it's the best tribute that can be given to the greatest player in the history of football. It is an incredible loss for the world of football."

    Villas-Boas said he would always remember his one meeting with Maradona.

    "Yes, I met him once. He was a guest at the Pinetina, the Inter Milan sports centre, when I was there," he said.

    "And I remember this photo, next to my trophies in Porto. Because of that, I bought a watch when Hublot had them signed by Maradona. And this watch came with a jersey signed by him that I still keep. These are good memories.

    "But Maradona wasn't just that. It's his genius from the world of football, the images he leaves us, the image of his warm-up in Naples, those kinds of things that are extraordinary.

    "It's a loss for everyone. I only met him once, next to each other, it's a moment I won't forget."

    Maradona, the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

    He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

    Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

    He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

    Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

    Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

    Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

  • Diego Maradona dies: 'The poetry of football' – Conte and Zidane remember all-time great Diego Maradona dies: 'The poetry of football' – Conte and Zidane remember all-time great

    Inter head coach Antonio Conte described Diego Maradona as "the poetry of football" following the Argentina and Napoli great's death on Wednesday.

    Maradona – arguably football's greatest ever player – died at the age of 60 after a suspected heart attack, the Argentine Football Association (AFA) confirmed midweek.

    World Cup winner Maradona was discharged from hospital a fortnight ago following brain surgery, having undergone a routine operation for a subdural haematoma after being admitted to hospital due to concerns over anaemia and dehydration.

    Conte came up against Maradona during his time with boyhood club Lecce in Serie A, and he lauded the former Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata head coach following Wednesday's 2-0 Champions League loss to Real Madrid.

    "We are all shedding tears for the loss of a man who wrote football history and will always be an indelible figure in this sport," Conte told Sky Sport Italia.

    "He was the poetry of football. I had the pleasure of playing against him, of marking him, and it still doesn't seem real that he's gone, especially as he was still young. It's very sad."

    Madrid boss Zidane also spoke glowingly of Maradona after the LaLiga champions won at San Siro for the first time in their history.

    Former France international Zidane – also a World Cup winner – added: "It's an enormous loss for the world of football.

    "I have him engrained in my head because of what he did at the 1986 World Cup. I was 14 years old... I have no words. We're all very sad."

    Maradona, the captain and inspiration behind Argentina's World Cup success in 1986 before going on to coach his country at the 2010 showpiece, had been hospitalised just days after turning 60.

    He appeared in a fragile state when he briefly made an appearance as his Gimnasia side played a match on the evening of his birthday last month.

    Maradona won 91 caps for Argentina between 1977 and 1994, scoring 34 goals at international level.

    He started his career with Argentinos Juniors before joining Boca Juniors and went on to play for Barcelona, Napoli, Sevilla and Newell's Old Boys before returning to Boca in 1995.

    Maradona had the best years of his club career in Italy, playing a massive part in Napoli winning the Serie A title in the 1986-87 and 1989-90 seasons.

    Playmaker Maradona also lifted the UEFA Cup with Napoli in 1989 and he won three trophies during his time at Barca – including the Copa del Rey in 1983.

    Maradona also had stints in charge of Textil Mandiyu, Racing Club, Al-Wasl, Fujairah and Dorados de Sinaloa in Mexico before being appointed by Gimnasia last year.

  • Zidane: Vazquez deserves Real Madrid contract renewal Zidane: Vazquez deserves Real Madrid contract renewal

    Zinedine Zidane says Lucas Vazquez "has Real Madrid in his heart" and deserves to be offered a new contract by the club.

    The Spain international has started seven games for Madrid this season but is due to be out of contract at the end of the campaign.

    He played the full 90 minutes of Wednesday's 2-0 win over Inter in the Champions League and impressed with his direct attacking display.

    As well as setting up substitute Rodrygo for his side's second goal, which deflected off Achraf Hakimi, adding to Eden Hazard's early penalty, Vazquez also had more shots (four) than any player on the field.

    Vazquez has showed his versatility by also featuring at right-back at times and Zidane wants the 29-year-old academy product to be rewarded with fresh terms.

    "He always gives everything for us. I have always valued him and what he gives to us on the pitch," Zidane told Movistar+.

    "Now he is having the opportunity to show us what he is all about. He was a youth player for us and has Madrid in his heart. I'm happy for him and the team.

    "He is an important player and the club knows it. I think it will happen that he will renew."

    Hazard's seventh-minute penalty was his first Champions League goal since November 2017 on his fourth start of another disrupted campaign.

    He got 78 minutes under his belt, having also started the 1-1 draw with Villarreal last weekend, and Zidane hopes the Belgium forward can soon find his rhythm.

    "I'm happy because he's playing. He needs to play and get his football back. For the good of the team, let him keep growing, because we need him."

    Madrid's two goals came either side of Arturo Vidal being issued quick-fire yellow cards for dissent 33 minutes into the game after being denied a penalty.

    The victory for Zidane's men was their first ever away at Inter in European competition and put them a point behind Group B leaders Borussia Monchengladbach, with Shakhtar Donetsk and Inter three and five points worse off than Madrid respectively.

    "We played a great game from the beginning to the end," Zidane said. "We played serious and with character. They were three very important points and we got the best of us.

    "I'm happy with the players. When they have to turn it on, they turn it on."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.