Champions League: added appeal thanks to corona?
The key matches of the 2019/2020 UEFA Champions League football tournament are currently taking place in Lisbon, albeit under special conditions due to the pandemic: all matches from the quarter-finals onwards will take place within just a few days without spectators and at the same venue, and the contest between two teams will be decided in a single match, as in the World Cup. Commentators discuss the future of this format.
Football at its finest
Le Temps hopes that the corona version of the Champions League will be retained after the pandemic:
“The matches with direct elimination without a return match allow for many more surprises than two 90-minute games. The fact that all the matches are scheduled to take place during a short period of time instead of being scattered across many months makes the Champions League much more of an event. ... Wonderfully unpredictable episodes like Bayern Munich's 8-2 defeat of FC Barcelona or Olympique Lyon's surprising 3-1 against Manchester City are keeping viewers coming back for more. ... The epilogue of the Champions League 2019-2020 was conceived to be compatible with corona; its attractiveness was not the main concern. Yet when people talk more about sport than about large sums of money, it's an 'accident' to be remembered.”
This could be the end
Jornal Económico is pessimistic about the future of the football business:
“In this 'pause' due to the pandemic the World Football Summit report has been published. ... The document warns that 'recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic will be a long and hard match for the football industry'. ... While the first qualifying matches for the group stage of the next Champions League have already been played, the big clubs in Europe are struggling to pay their bills. ... These are the circumstances under which the 2019/2020 season is ending with the Champions League final, the 'league of millions', in Lisbon, and the fate of the next season is even more uncertain than the result of the final at the Estádio da Luz on 23 August.”