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The Champions League Will Return In August And Hold A Single-Leg Knockout Tournament In Portugal

The world of European football has been getting back into the swing of things over the last few weeks. Germany’s Bundesliga had a head start, but over the span of a week or so, Spain’s La Liga, England’s Premier League, and Italy’s Serie A will all make their returns to the pitch.

A few leagues, most notably France’s Ligue 1 and the Dutch Eredivisie, canceled their campaigns altogether, but in a few places, soccer is back. And on Wednesday morning, one of the biggest questions that lingered over the sport in Europe got answered, as UEFA announced plans for the resumption of the 2019-20 Champions League.

The basic gist is that clubs will descend on Portugal beginning in mid-August after the aforementioned leagues are all finished up. There are still four fixtures — Real Madrid/Manchester City, Chelsea/Bayern Munich, Lyon/Juventus, and Napoli/Barcelona — from the Round of 16 that need to be sorted out before then, and according to UEFA, those will be played on August 7 and 8 in locations to be determined.

Once that happens, the clubs that win those ties will join the four sides that have already punched their tickets to the quarterfinals: Paris Saint-Germain, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, and RB Leipzig. Teams will be sorted out into a single-elimination knockout tournament for the final three stages of the tournament, which is different from the usual format, in which the quarters are semis are a home-and-home affair and the winner is determined by an aggregate score. These matches will occur in a collection of stadiums in Portugal, with Lisbon’s Estádio da Luz hosting the final. Here’s how the schedule breaks down:

August 12-15: Quarterfinals
August 18-19: Semifinals
August 23: Final

The tournament’s finale was originally slated to take place in Istanbul, but instead, UEFA will bring the tournament to Turkey next year. As for whether or not anyone will be in the stadium for the games beyond those affiliated with the clubs, UEFA said in a release that it “will be regularly assessing the situation across the continent and will liaise with local authorities to see when spectators could gradually return.”