Lisbon set to host final stages of Champions League

Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard, right, and Paris St Germain’s Marquinhos during their match in Madrid. (Reuters/File)
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Updated 13 June 2020

Lisbon set to host final stages of Champions League

  • The closing stages of the Europa League are set to be moved to Germany, reports newspaper

BERLIN: The final stages of this season’s interrupted Champions League will be played in Lisbon, with the final on Aug. 22 or 23, German newspaper Bild reported on Friday.

The assertion by Bild follows reports by several other European media in recent days. An official announcement is expected when UEFA’s Executive Committee meets by videoconference next Wednesday, June 17.
Bild also reported that the closing stages of the Europa League are set to be moved to Germany, with matches being played in the region around Cologne, in the west of the country.
This season’s Champions League final was scheduled to take place in Istanbul at the end of May before the competition was suspended in mid-March in the last-16 stage because of the coronavirus pandemic which has ravaged Europe. The Europa League final was scheduled for the Polish city of Gdansk.
In both competitions, all ties would be played as one-off matches from the quarterfinals onwards. Usually the quarter-finals and semifinals are staged over two legs.
Four second-leg matches in the Champions League round of 16 are still to be played, with Juventus still due to host Lyon, Manchester City scheduled to play Real Madrid, Bayern Munich defending a 3-0 lead against Chelsea and Barcelona’s tie with Napoli poised at 1-1 from the first leg in Italy.
According to Bild, those matches could be played on the weekend of Aug. 8 and 9 before the quarter-finalists move to the Portuguese capital.

BACKGROUND

This season’s Champions League final was scheduled to take place in Istanbul at the end of May before the competition was suspended in mid-March in the last-16 stage because of the coronavirus pandemic which has ravaged Europe.

Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Atalanta had all qualified just before the competition was suspended.
The Europa League faces a greater backlog, with only six of the last 16, first legs having been played, and none of the second legs.
Portugal’s credentials to host a Champions League mini-tournament are boosted by the fact that it has not been as badly hit by the pandemic as other Western European countries, while it has no clubs left in the competition.
The Portuguese top flight resumed at the start of this month, with matches being played behind closed doors.
Lisbon has several stadiums, including Benfica’s 65,000-capacity Estadio da Luz, which hosted the final of Euro 2004 and the Champions League in 2014, and the nearby 50,000-seater Estadio Jose Alvalade — home of Sporting — which was also used at Euro 2004 and for the UEFA Cup final in 2005.


Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

Updated 29 October 2020

Racing in the streets: Jeddah to host first Saudi F1 Grand Prix

  • Kingdom’s inaugural race to take place in city while purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is being completed

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s inaugural Formula 1 Grand Prix next year will take place on the city streets of Jeddah.
The Saudi Grand Prix appears on the provisional F1 calendar for 2021 that has been distributed to race teams. It is expected to be the penultimate race of the 2021 season, which will conclude
with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit.
Jeddah will host the Saudi race while a new purpose-built track at Qiddiyah is completed, which is expected to be in 2023.
It is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s disruption. The first 10 races of the 2020 season were either postponed or cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

HIGHLIGHT

The Saudi Grand Prix is one of 22 races on a provisional 2021 schedule as F1 plans to return to a calendar as close to normal as possible after this year’s

The 2021 season will begin in Melbourne, Australia in mid-March and then goes on to Bahrain. It includes nearly all the races that had been due to be held this year.
That means a return for grands prix in China, Japan and Canada, which had to be cancelled because of the disruptions to international travel caused by COVID-19, as well as the debut of the Vietnamese Grand Prix.
F1 has been in conversations with the relevant national governments and all are said to be in agreement the races can take place, unless the pandemic worsens.
In 2018, Riyadh hosted the first Formula E championship in the Middle East in Diriyah with 23,000 in attendance. The second Formula E championship was held in late 2019.
This year, Saudi Arabia held its first Dakar Rally, a 7,800km race that began in Jeddah and finished in Qiddiyah.