Champions League 'final four'...


Champions League 'final four' set for Istanbul, one-leg quarter finals

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If and when this season's UEFA Champions League resumes, it could spark a sprint finish. 

UEFA's Working Group, comprised of the European Club Association (ECA) and the European Leagues group, are leaning towards a trimmed down version of the competition in order to see this season completed.

The competition has been suspended as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic since March 13.

Before play was called to a halt, four last-16 ties still had second legs yet to be played.

Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Atalanta and Atletico Madrid had already booked their places in the quarter finals.

A final decision on the complexion of this season's Champions League is not expected until June 17 after UEFA postponed its latest Executive Committee meeting, originally scheduled for May 27.

However, Spanish publication AS reports that the Working Group have drawn up a draft schedule for the resumption of European competition.

They foresee the UEFA Europa League returning on Thursday August 6.

Under the Working Group's proposal, the remaining last-16 ties will all be played on Saturday August 8.

UEFA has already ear-marked August 29 as the potential date for the re-arranged final at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul.

The Working Group have put forward the idea that the semi-finals will also be played in the Turkish capital.

If approved, this calendar would result in delaying the start of the 2020-21 season.

It could also have the knock-on effect of postponing UEFA Nations League games planned for September, as players would effectively be on pre-season.

The 2020-21 Nations League is due to get underway just five days after the proposed date for the Champions League final.

Stephen Kenny's Republic of Ireland are due to play away to Bulgaria on September 3, followed by the visit of Finland to the Aviva Stadium on September 6.

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Champions League Coronavirus Covid-19 Europa League Republic Of Ireland UEFA Uefa Nations League

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