As a European competition, the Champions League final has always been held in a European stadium, but could that be set to change?
The latest proposals for the prestigious tournament are now underway, and there’s many ideas floating around the UEFA world right now.
The 2023/24 season will see an end to the current Champions League format. The official conclusion of the revamp project has not yet been decided, with the proposals currently being laid out.
A New Champions League Format
One proposal in particular includes a change in the tournament format, with a 36-team model a possibility for the elite competition.
So, instead of the 32 spots currently available, UEFA will adopt a “Swiss model”, which has a very different structure to the format at the minute. At the minute, there are the eight group stages consisting of four teams in each before the knockout stages of the competition.
How will it work?
With 36 teams qualifying for the tournament, it is proposed that each team will play 10 consecutive games – five at home, and five away. Then, all teams will be put into a league table to determine who will qualify for the knockout stage.
The top eight teams of the league table will qualify automatically. To fill the remaining eight spaces, the next 16 sides in the league table will go into another playoff-round to decide who will progress in the competition.
However, not all of Europe’s leagues are happy with the proposal at the minute, with UEFA facing some backlash regarding the European fixture congestion, if the new proposals are confirmed.
New York – Future UCL Final Host City?
The idea of New York being the host of the Champions League has been around the football world for a while now, with the option first being suggested back in 2016.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin made the comment during his election campaign to be the governing body’s main man. Ceferin said: “I think it might be an idea in the future but we have to speak about it.
“To go from Portugal to Azerbaijan, for example, is almost the same as if you go to New York. For the fans it’s no problem”.
UEFA are reported to be looking to appeal to potential sponsors, and to do so, are wanting to grow in the US market. It’s fair to say that a Champions League final would definitely boost American’s interest in the tournament.
UEFA Champions League 2021
This season, the Champions League has gotten as far as the round of 16 knockout stage. Defending champions Bayern Munich made a strong start to their European campaign, and will be looking to retain their crown, but will face strong competition from the likes of Manchester City and last years final opponents PSG, who trashed Barcelona 1-4 on their own turf last week!
The final of the 2021 Champions League will be held at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey on 29 May.
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