The Coronavirus pandemic has affected the whole world quite heavily. From social distancing to complete lockdown, many methods have been followed to minimise the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
All football activities were forced to be postponed during the March-April-May period. Now the football leagues have finished and UEFA has decided to host a mini-tournament ‘Final Eight’ in Lisbon from 12th August. All the matches will be a one-legged affair starting from the quarter-finals. The final will be held on 23rd August.
The 8 teams will have to strictly follow some rules which will help them to cope with the Coronavirus pandemic. UEFA has handed a 31-page protocol document to each and every team and they have been instructed to strictly follow the same. Some of the rules are:
The team planes and buses have to be sanitised properly at regular intervals. The players will be using VIP exits at the airport terminals to minimise public contact.
After the players reach their team hotels, they won’t be allowed to venture out. If someone has a proper reason, they will need to get permissions from UEFA officials. The players will not be allowed to come in contact with anyone outside their group.
The players will have access to private routes and dining areas. The laundry and food will be handled by the team’s own staff in order to minimise contact with any outsider.
COVID-19 tests before each match
The full squad will have Coronavirus test for several times after arriving in Lisbon and even before each match.
A team will have to name at least 13 on-field players and a goalkeeper for a match. If the team doesn’t have enough players, they would be allowed to bring in any new signings who had not been registered yet.
If any team still doesn’t have enough player, UEFA could consider rescheduling the fixture but the most probable option is that the team would probably have to forfeit the fixture.
No jersey swaps
No player will be allowed to swap jersey with any opponent after the match. This has been done to minimise contact between the teams.
The Champions League ‘Final Eight’ tournament is starting from Wednesday in Lisbon. In this time of crisis, the matches will provide a sigh of relief to all the fans worldwide.
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