- The situation in the Europa League is even more complicated than in the Champions League
- For the first time in the history of the game, it will be possible to make as many as five changes, but in three phases, this does not include squad changes during the break
- Regardless of who wins this year’s competition, he will be the latest winner, but only in the case of official competitions recognized by UEFA
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This will be the strangest edition in the 65-year history of European cups. We have never known the winners of the official European cups under the aegis of UEFA (except for the European Super Cup) in August, never in the quarter-finals and semi-finals were played one match at a time, teams were never put together in one place to play decisive matches there, and finally there was never a break between matches the same phase was not that long.
The most important thing, however, is that this edition of the European cups will be completed at all, because it was not certain. Admittedly, after the suspension of the UEFA games, it started planning their resumption, but the next ideas had to be thrown into the trash. It was assumed that the matches would be played first in June, then in August, setting the Champions League final on the 29th day of this month. Ultimately, the most important matches will take place in August, but the results will be announced a bit earlier – on August 21 in the case of the Europa League and two days later the winner of the Champions League.
In Germany and Portugal
Today, as a starter before the main course, players in the Europa League are returning to the pitch. The situation there is even more complicated than in the Champions League. In six pairs of the 1/8 finals only the first matches took place, and in two (Inter – Getafe and Sevilla – Roma) no matches were played at all. In the former case, rematch will be held without spectators at the stadiums where the meetings were scheduled to take place. In turn, the fate of the other two rivalries will be decided in one game, which will be played in Germany.
It is in four cities of this country – Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Gelsenkirchen and Cologne – that the Final 8 LE tournaments will be held, the final will be played in the latter city. In practice, the tournament starts today with Inter vs. Getafe.
Of course, the Europa League does not arouse such emotions as the Champions League. This resumes on Friday. Four quarterfinalists have already been selected there, the remaining four will be announced on Friday and Saturday. The meetings will be held at the stadiums of the clubs hosting the rematch. On Wednesday, August 12, the Final 8 tournament begins in Lisbon.
Matches will be held at two local venues – Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica and Estadio Jose Alvalade, where Sporting takes on rivals on a daily basis.
On August 12 to be exact, and also in Portugal, but in Porto, the European Super Cup was to take place …
Both in LM and LE, matches will be held without fans in the stands. Accredited journalists will be present there. After the match, they can attend a press conference. However, they will not have a dilemma whether to go there or to the so-called mixed zone, where you can talk to players, because this time they will not be allowed to enter the mixed zone.
Five substitutions and a sixth in extra time
For the first time in the history of the game, it will be possible to make as many as five changes, but in three phases, this does not include squad changes during the break. A sixth substitution was allowed in extra time.
There will be twelve players on the benches, not seven as before. The clubs were allowed to submit 25 players for this phase of the competition and make three changes compared to the list presented by UEFA before the start of the spring part of the competition. However, they are allowed to add only players registered for the national competition by February 3. So if a talent has made great progress or someone has recovered from an injury and was expected to fail this season, he will be able to play. However, there is no question of reporting the players brought in in the summer.
The referees will also apply the changes to the rules of the game, which entered into force on June 1. They apply to penalty shootouts. The goalkeeper for the first offense, e.g. wrong line-up, will only be reprimanded, and only for the next penalty with a yellow card.
If the goalkeeper violates the rules, but the ball misses the goal net, he will not be penalized, unless he has obviously influenced the player taking the eleven. In addition, cards from 120 minutes of play will not be transferred to the series of eleven. So if the goalkeeper was given a yellow during the game and then the referee showed it to him again on the penalty shootout, this will not end his participation in the game.
Regardless of who wins this year’s competition, he will be the latest winner, but only in the case of official competitions recognized by UEFA. In the Fair Cities Cup, the predecessor of the UEFA Cup, in 1971, the winner was selected on September 22, and fans met him four times this month, but once again the games ended in April.
Ever since the UEFA Cup was created, replaced in 2009 by the Europa League, the winners were known in May. In the European Cup, the final was played in the first edition at the latest, in 1956 – on June 13. The earliest in 1986 – May 2.
Now, the football calendar that has been known for decades has been turned upside down.