The ‘final eight’ format used in last season’s Champions League and Europa League could make a return by 2024 according to UEFA’s deputy general secretary, Giorgio Marchetti.
Due to the global pandemic, the final stages of both competitions were held in a single country (Portugal and Germany), with straight knockout matches replacing the traditional two-legged affairs this season.
This led to some fairly entertaining affairs, particularly in the latter stages of the Champions Leauge, with the likes of Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain being involved in some memorable encounters.
However, both the Europa League and the Champions League will return to their traditional format this season, with Spurs set to begin their group stage with a home game against LASK this Thursday.
Marchetti revealed that, while UEFA are committed to the traditional format for the next three years, they could be set to return to a final eight format from 2024.
He said (as relayed by Football.London): “A good rule is to never exclude something which proves valuable or has potential.
“We know there are many elements that need to be taken into account, such as calendar and organisational constraints, fans’ involvement, economic implications, but we will for sure study this format and its variations for our upcoming discussions.
“Single knockout matches obviously favour uncertainty and emotions. We received great feedback from clubs, broadcasters and other partners as well as from the fans.
“The circumstances made this format a must, but the result could not be better as well as the degree of satisfaction.”
As it turns out, it might not matter what UEFA want to do, with the biggest clubs across Europe said to be in talks over the creation of the FIFA-backed European Premier League to replace the Champions League, which could begin as early as 2022 (Sky Sports).
Have something to tell us about this article?