Portugal’s health secretary Antonio Lacerda Sales has confirmed no fans will be present for the August conclusion of the Champions League in Lisbon.
UEFA decided on June 17 that the final stages of the 2019/20 Champions League will be held in the Portuguese capital from August 12-23, rather than Istanbul as originally planned.
The cities of Porto and Guimaraes will stage the round of 16 matches on August 7-8 in the event that any of the teams that have to host a game cannot do so. Benfica’s Estadio da Luz and Sporting CP’s Estadio Jose Alvalade in Lisbon were chosen by UEFA to stage Champions League games from the quarter-finals onwards.
Four teams have already confirmed their place in the last eight, as the footballing world prepares itself for a World Cup-style conclusion to the current European campaign.
However, health secretary Sales confirmed on Monday that no fans will be present for what promises to be a thrilling conclusion to the competition:
“Regarding the public and based on the current pandemic situation, obviously not,” he said, in quotes carried by ESPN.
“We don’t know how the pandemic is going to evolve and as we have done in other situations, we will take measures according to the evolution of the pandemic. I cannot anticipate the future. In this phase obviously not.”
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said no decision had been made regarding fan attendance when the announcement of the mini-tournament was made earlier this month.
And despite a spike in COVID-19 cases forcing some northern Lisbon suburbs back into lockdown from Wednesday, UEFA said on Tuesday there was ‘no reason to plan Plan B’, as quoted by French news outlet Le Monde.
A UEFA spokesperson also said: “We are monitoring the situation on a daily basis and will adapt when the time comes if necessary,” adding that they’re “in constant contact with the Portuguese Football Federation and local authorities.”