UEFA President backs one-leg format in UCL knock-out

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin backs retainment of the one-leg format in both Champions League and Europa League.

The two-legged system in use is contractually binded until 2024-25, but talks will hold this year to decide the future of the tournament.

The closing stages of both European competitions this season were forced to be decided over one leg, resembling international tournament-style format, due to schedule restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The one-leg format put together to conclude the 2019-20 season in a timely manner has already produced surprises with Atletico Madrid and Manchester City already victims following upset at the hands of RB Leipzig and Lyon respectively.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has admitted that the current one-legged knock-out format of the Champions League’s quarterfinals and semi-finals is more interesting and should be considered as a new feature in the competition.

In August, eight teams proceeded to Lisbon to complete the remaining fixtures on neutral ground in order to avoid issues over home and away advantages, and Ceferin believes the one-leg format makes for more exciting matches.

Despite the thrills being experienced as a result of the one-leg format in recent weeks, it was expected to only be a one-time occurrence due to the potential financial impact the lessened number of games would have on UEFA and in turn the clubs in terms of reduced broadcast revenues.

PSG’s last-gasp comeback against Atalanta in the last-eight was the highlight of the single-leg format in all its glory.

Ceferin has also admitted in an interview that the value can be higher using this season’s one-leg format in the future despite the reduction of games, provided there is adequate promotion.

Ceferin hinted that the possibility will be discussed in September or October and might be considered due to the congestion of the calendar.

Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich will lock horns in the final of the Champions League in Lisbon on Sunday as the both teams aim for a treble-winning season.

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