An official UEFA Champions League football is pictured on the field in front of the UEFA Champions Football match of League Group F Inter Milan against Slavia Prague on September 17, 2019 at San Siro Stadium in Milan (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP)
UEFA insists that there is "no reason to prepare a plan B" for the last eight of the Champions League in Lisbon, despite the Portuguese authorities’s reintroduction of restrictions to curb the spread of the corona virus.
“We hope that everything will be fine and that the tournament can be organized in Portugal. At the moment there is no reason to prepare Plan B, ”a UEFA spokesman told AFP.
The spokesman added that the European Football Association is "in constant contact with the Portuguese Football Association and the local authorities".
UEFA announced earlier this month that the final stages of the Champions League, with all games in Lisbon, will exceptionally be played as a co-competition starting in the quarter-finals.
Earlier this month, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said: "It looks good at the moment and we hope that everything will be fine until we organize the last eight."
He added: "We do not assess the situation week by week, but day by day and will adjust if necessary."
Portugal had not suffered to the same extent as other Western European countries during the pandemic, but last week Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced that some coronavirus restrictions would be reintroduced in and around the capital to help fight new outbreaks .
As of Wednesday, 19 neighborhoods on the northern outskirts of Lisbon will be closed again.
Meetings in these areas will be limited to a maximum of five people, compared to 10 people in the Lisbon area and 20 people in the rest of Portugal.
The last eight are scheduled to begin with the first quarter-finals on August 12, with the final scheduled for August 23.
Games are played at the Estadio da Luz in Benfica and in the nearby Estadio Jose Alvalade, the home of Sporting.
Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Atalanta all qualified for the quarter-finals before the competition was suspended in March.
The remaining 16 return games are: Juventus vs. Lyon; Manchester City v Real Madrid; Bayern Munich against Chelsea and Barcelona against Napoli.
It is hoped that these games – which are scheduled for 7 and 8 August – will not have to be played on neutral ground, but can also be moved to Portugal, with UEFA ready to host the games in Spread Lisbon across the country as in the northern cities of Porto and Guimaraes.
Ceferin has admitted that one of the games is unlikely to be played in front of an audience, but said UEFA would reevaluate the situation in July.
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