The Champions League competition was suspended before the end of the round of 16 in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but UEFA intends to host the tournament in Portugal despite the reconfnment measures.
“We hope that everything will be fine and that it will be possible to organize the tournament in Portugal. At the moment there is no reason to have a plan B in place,” a UEFA spokesman told AFP, adding that the European football body is “in constant contact with the Portuguese Football Federation and local authorities.”
The cities of Porto and Guimaraes will play in the round of 16 on 7 and 8 August in case none of the teams to host a match can do so.
Da Luz stadium of Benfica and Jose Alvalade stadium of Sporting in Lisbon has been chosen by UEFA to organize the Champions League matches starting in the quarter-finals.
“We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will adapt when the time comes if necessary,” he said, echoing the words of UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin on June 17.
Atlético Madrid, RB Leipzig, Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain have qualified for the last eight games, but half of the round of 16 was not finished when the coronavirus forced football to stop .
Manchester City should play a home game against Real Madrid, leading 2-1, Chelsea are 3-0 from the first leg against Bayern Munich, while Juventus are expected to host Lyon, who won the first leg 1 -0, and Barcelona are expected to play at home against Napoli at 1-1.
The eight teams qualified for the quarter-finals are due to arrive in Lisbon to start the knockout series from 12 to 15 August.
Portugal prohibits public entry
In Portugal, a country of around 10 million inhabitants, where the mask is compulsory in enclosed spaces, the number of new daily cases has risen in recent days to between 300 and 400, when it had dropped to around one hundred may’s beginning.
As of Wednesday, residents of 19 neighborhoods in the northern suburbs of Lisbon, where foci of contagion to the coronavirus persist, will again be confined to their homes, Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced.
The Portuguese government has taken the decision to prevent the public from entering the stadiums due to an increase in the number of people infected.
The pandemic is seriously affecting all countries, as is the case in Portugal. And in a particular city, Lisbon.
“As far as the public issue is concerned and the current situation of the pandemic, this will obviously not be possible,” Antonio Lacerda Sales, Secretary of State for Health, told reporters.