BERN: Uefa says it has no Plan B for this season’s Europa League which is due to finish with an eight-team mini-tournament in Germany next month.
During a video conference yesterday, Uefa and the German Football Federation (DFB) reaffirmed their commitment to staging the event in Germany, European soccer’s ruling body said in a statement. The Europa League was suspended in March due to the novel coronavirus.
“Both parties stressed their strong belief that all measures will be taken to ensure that the matches will be hosted in a safe and secure manner,” it said.
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin added, “As with the Uefa Champions League Final Eight in Portugal, there is no need for a Plan B for this tournament in Germany.”
The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will be played as a straight knockout tournament in Cologne, Duisburg, Duesseldorf and Gelsenkirchen, from Aug. 10-21, with the final in Cologne.
The remaining round of 16, second-leg ties will take place on Aug. 5 and 6, either at the originally scheduled venues or in Germany.
Uefa said the two ties in which the first leg was also called off – Inter Milan v Getafe and Sevilla v AS Roma – will be reduced to one leg, played on Aug 5 or 6 at two of the German venues.
DFB president Fritz Keller said, “Only if we stand together as a football family we will be able to master the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
“That’s why I am very proud and happy, that we together with Uefa will host the Uefa Europa League final eight tournament in Germany. We will bring our experience, in particular from the last months, to the organisation of the tournament and will justify the trust Uefa and Aleksander Ceferin have put in the DFB as host.”