Estádio José Alvalade to host final stages of Champions League
Lisbon replaces Istanbul as the host city for the final
The Estádio José Alvalade will host two UEFA Champions League games this week, as the tournament relocates to Lisbon for a modified format that includes the quarterfinals, semifinals and final.
The decision was announced back in June, and saw the Portuguese capital chosen as the location for the entirety of the closing stages. Sporting CP's famous stadium will hold two quarter finals, plus one of the semifinals, played over single games.
The competition would normally follow a schedule of two-legged ties, taking in both home and away matches for the participating teams, before a final game to crown the European champions. However, the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak and the risk inherent to international travel has led to a change of venue and a compacted format.
Lisbon replaces Istanbul, Turkey, as the host city for the final, originally set for May 30th at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium.
Matches confirmed for the José Alvalade are the quarterfinals between RB Leipzig and Atlético Madrid, and Manchester City vs. Olympique Lyonnais. The second of the two semifinals, set for the 18th & 19th of August, will also be held at the ground.
The José Alvalade has 5-star classification from UEFA, and has previously been the venue for the 2005 UEFA Cup final. In that game, Sporting CP missed out on the trophy in a defeat to CSKA Moscow.
All Champions League games at the stadium will be played behind closed doors, in accordance with UEFA's protocol for the competition. Upon making the decision, UEFA made a commitment to "constantly evaluate the situation across the continent and contact local authorities to determine when a gradual return for spectators will be possible", but it has not yet been deemed safe for supporters to attend the closing stages of the tournament.
2019/20 UEFA Champions League calendar:
August 12th: Atalanta vs. Paris Saint Germain (8pm local time)
August 13th: RB Leipzig vs. Atlético Madrid (8pm, Estádio José Alvalade)
August 14th: FC Barcelona vs. Bayern Munich (8pm)
August 15th: Manchester City vs. Olympique Lyonnais (8pm, Estádio José Alvalade)
August 18th: Semifinal 1 (8pm)
August 19th: Semifinal 2 (8pm, Estádio José Alvalade)
August 23rd: UEFA Champions League final (8pm)