UEFA President Considers Single-game Structure Of Final Eight for Champions League
Change in Tournament Format
The surprising twist suggested by the president is about the chances of including very few matches in their soccer tournament. In the majority of leagues, professional players look to extend their playoffs to increase their TV revenue. The president believes that soccer is no exception as FIFA considers to expand its teams up to 48 in the World Cup of 2026, particularly for men.
Now, the president seeks to do completely opposite which will highly affect the fees of TV rights if it is implemented.
Generally, after the 32-team group level, there are two winners from every group that further compete in the 16-team match. In this 16-team matches, the team scoring highest goals goes to the next round. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, UEFA had to reschedule its matches this year. After the 16 team round in 2020, semifinals, quarterfinals and finals were all single-game rounds scheduled in Portugal.
According to the president, there is nothing so worse about the recent format, but the final eight setups for single-game have resulted in some adverse outcomes. Since the restart of the 2020 match, the winning team scored several goals in overall ten games.
During the quarterfinal, an average of five goals were scored in each game. However, half of those goals were initiated in Bayern against Barcelona. Moreover, in the semifinals, it was presented that most of the goals were scored just in one match rather than two.
This happened because there is more urgency in a 1.5 hours game than 3 hours game. There is urgency in both matches, but the first match in a two-game series is not majorly about winning, as the second match has the chance for it.
Moreover, the top professional teams get benefits from a two-game series. This is because those teams get time to showcase their talent and overpower the opponent team. As a result, the same few teams perform their best each year.
In 2020, RB Leipzig, PSG and Lyon are the three teams who had never or rarely reached to perform in the semifinals, but this year all these three are qualified. In 2019, Tottenham was the one to score a high score and reach the finals.
Ceferin adds that if it is one game and if one team scores the best, then it places the pressure on the other one to score as soon as possible. For a two-legged system, the team gets a lot of time to win the upcoming match. However, there it is crucial to consider that there are fewer broadcasters and matches. Keeping the concern of the pandemic situation, the additional matches may or may not be conducted.
According to the president, the recent format of soccer matches cannot be modified until 2025. However, consultation is expected to start at the end of 2020 about the format of the competition for the upcoming phase.
There are also other concerns whether single-game rounds will be played at a neutral site or one gets all the advantage of being as a major team. Another concern is about when the audience will get to enjoy and attend games and will players support a system which will lose revenue without semi or quarterfinals.
This season’s final match between Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich will start at 20:00 BST on this Sunday.
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