“Final eight” tournament could return in 2024

Champions League format

UEFA says it will consider bringing back the “final-eight” tournament, in which the last eight remaining sides compete in a single-site, one-leg format, to settle the Champions League beginning in 2024.

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UEFA deemed the end to the 2019-20 Champions League a success after returning from a months-long shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, and on Monday confirmed that they are looking at bringing the formula back in a few years’ time. Presumably, that time would be the 2024-25 Champions League, as the 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024 finals have already been awarded to various host cities.

  • 2021: Istanbul, Turkey
  • 2022: Saint Petersburg, Russia
  • 2023: Munich, Germany
  • 2024: London, England

Not only is UEFA bound to upcoming host sites for a single-event final for the next four years, but they are also bound to contracts with broadcast companies all over the world to provide the two-leg system for the quarterfinals and semifinals through 2024.

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Giorgio Marchetti, UEFA’s deputy general secretary, said the following about changing the Champions League format:

“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 organizational constraints, fans’ involvement, economic implications, but we will for sure study this format and its variations for our upcoming discussions.

“Single knockout matches obviously favor 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.”

The Europa League could, and likely would, undergo the same format change after its own TV deal concludes.

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