The summer’s festival of football looks set to conclude with a “blitz” of European competition in Lisbon over the space of two weeks in August.
Uefa has set up a working group on the problem, that is set to inform the final decision for their meeting on 17 June.
The coronavirus crisis has made it inevitable that the Champions League final will be moved from Istanbul due to the cost without fans, and it is understood that a number of cities made pitches to host the event. Among them were Lisbon, Frankfurt and Moscow.
Uefa duly set out a list of requirements, that included everything from prior issues like infrastructure to “new reality” necessities like Covid-19 safety, not to mention questions over a city’s R-rate.
It is the latter that is believed to have already ruled Moscow out, with Lisbon jumping ahead. The Portuguese city has long been seen as the favourite.
German sportspaper Bild reported on Sunday that Frankfurt expects to lose out to Lisbon, but hopes to secure the Europa League.
Uefa may see it as more convenient to stage all of it in one city, with the Portuguese capital especially attractive due to its number of stadiums.
The exact plans haven’t been finalised but it looks likely that the quarter-finals and semi-finals will be one-leg ties, effectively making the revised competition like the latter stages like a World Cup.