Will the coronavirus have the last word on the Champions League? This Sunday, the British government decided to exclude Spain from the list of safe countries and to impose a mandatory quarantine on all its travelers. A decision which, in practice, involves complete isolation of fourteen days for all individuals coming from Spanish territory (Balearic Islands and Canaries included), confirmed the Ministry of Transport. A measure which, by nature, endangers the round of 16 second leg between Real Madrid and Manchester City scheduled at the Etihad Stadium and scheduled in less than two weeks.
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Defeated on February 26, at the Santiago-Bernabeu stadium (1-2), Real Madrid has an appointment in Manchester City on August 7 to try to reverse the trend and get his ticket for the Final 8, the news Champions League formula. But now, faced with the worsening of the pandemic in Europe, the chances of witnessing this shock in Great Britain are gradually diminishing. LThe UK executive’s decision comes after several Spanish autonomous communities reported new outbreaks of Covid-19 and an increase in contagion in recent days. The mandatory quarantine imposed on those arriving from Spain stands as an insurmountable challenge for a football club, unless the UK government decides to make an exception.
City-Madrid au Portugal ?
On July 5, the British government announced that it had negotiated agreements which would allow certain international sporting events such as the Champions League and the Europa League, the British Masters (golf) or the World Snooker (billiards). But the health situation has since changed a lot and no official confirmation has been issued. Therefore, and given the impossibility of subjecting the Madrid club to a mandatory quarantine, everything indicates that the match should ultimately be held in Portugal … on neutral ground. An option that had initially been proposed by UEFA, before being abandoned following the categorical refusal of the clubs. According to information from Spanish radio Cadena Cope, Porto and Guimarães would be ready to host the meeting. For now, UEFA has not yet reacted and must begin the first negotiations with the British authorities on Sunday.
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From the quarters, the matches will be played on a single direct confrontation, instead of back and forth, as initially planned. The quarter-finals will be played August 12-15, the semi-finals August 18-19, and the grand final will take place on August 23. All these matches will begin at 9 pm and must be played in Lisbon, the city chosen to host this Final 8. Two stadiums in the Portuguese capital have thus been selected: the Da-Luz estadio (which will host the final) and the estadio José-Alvalade.