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Day: June 22, 2020

Euro 2020 play-off dates set, Irish League and Super Cup

UEFA has revealed several significant decisions from their Executive Committee meeting, with ramifications for the Irish League and the Northern Ireland national team.

Dates set for Northern Ireland’s Euro play-offs

Northern Ireland’s Euro Cup 2020 play-off semi-final against Bosnia & Herzegovinia has been confirmed for October

The continental governing body confirmed that the match, along with other playoff semis, will take place on Thursday 8 October, with Northern Ireland’s potential final against either Republic of Ireland or Slovakia at Windsor Park set to take place on Thursday 12 November.

Both of those games are due to be played as the first matches in triple-header international windows along with Nations League fixtures.

Dates set for Northern Ireland's Euro play-offs
Dates set for Northern Ireland’s Euro play-offs

Northern Ireland will host Austria on October 11 and travel to Norway on November 14 in the Nations League. They will then welcome the Austrians to Windsor on November 15 and host Romania on November 18.

Confirmation on how Nations League games are to be moved has yet to be provided, however, the play-off semi-final is now set to be the new Northern Ireland manager’s third game in charge, after Nations League games against Romania and Norway in September.

Should Northern Ireland make it through to the Euro 2020 finals, they will still face two matches, as originally scheduled, against Poland (June 14) and Sweden (June 18) at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium before taking on Spain in Bilbao (June 23) in Group E.

The finals will be played between June 11 and July 11 in 2021.

UEFA Super Cup 2021 remains in Belfast

The 2021 UEFA Super Cup is still due to be played at Belfast’s Windsor Park.

The National Stadium had won the right to host the one-off tie between next season’s Champions League and Europa League winners although it was thought it could be postponed one season, as has been the case for Champions League and Europa League final hosts. However, the match will continue as planned in Belfast.

UEFA reiterate August 3 deadline for nomination of European qualifiers

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UEFA Super Cup 2021 remains in Belfast
UEFA Super Cup 2021 remains in Belfast

UEFA, as expected, has reiterated its August 3 deadline for each nation to nominate teams for European competition.

The qualifying rounds will now be played on a single-leg basis in August.

The Champions League’s four-team preliminary round, featuring the Irish League’s top European nominee, will be played as semi-finals and a final on August 8 and 11. A venue has yet to be confirmed.

The first qualifying rounds of the Champions League and Europa League will be played on the week commencing August 17 with the second qualifying rounds a week later.

The August 3 deadline presents pressure for the Irish League to have its season concluded.

The clubs are now expected to meet tomorrow to ratify a solution to finishing the 19/20 campaign.

While the Irish FA remains intent on playing the Irish Cup semi-finals and finals before August 3, it would seem that playing the outstanding seven rounds of Premiership fixtures in time is now impossible.

Clubs must now decide how to square that particular circle.

Options would seem to be: concluding the campaign immediately before using a mathematical equation to decide final positions, playing two more rounds of fixtures so all teams have played each other three times or to conclude the season at a later date with an agreement on how to nominate European qualifiers before the finish.

That final option could be scuppered by the Irish FA declaring the season finished to open a transfer window before the Champions League and Europa League qualifiers.

That would, ironically, leave the two suggestions made by the NIFL Steering Group that caused such consternation amongst clubs.

Whatever happens, it is hoped a decision can be reached by the end of the week.

UEFA Euro Under-19 Championships

UEFA Euro Under-19 Championships
UEFA Euro Under-19 Championships

The UEFA Euro Under-19 Championship is coming to Northern Ireland later this year. The tournament had been postponed by the coronavirus crisis but will be played across October and November.

Northern Ireland’s Under 19 team will be joined by the seven qualifiers.

The group stage will be played in two groups of four from October 8-14 with the semi-finals and semi-finals and finals to be played between November 9-18.

There will also be a fifth-placed play-off in November to decide the fifth team qualified for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

Champions League set for single-leg knockout matches

UEFA are set to finish the Champions League with a ‘Last Eight’ competition held more than 11 days in Lisbon, as per an arrangement which will be introduced to their official panel for approval on Wednesday.

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UEFA are set to finish the Champions League with a ‘Last Eight’ competition held more than 11 days in Lisbon

A source with information on conversations among clubs and European soccer’s overseeing body revealed to Reuters that the proposition is required to be settled upon after an agreement was reached on Monday. UEFA didn’t react to a solicitation for input.

Under the arrangement, the opposition, which was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, will continue with the second-leg of staying the last 16 games played at the planned scenes. The single-leg quarter-last games will be played in Lisbon on four straight days from August 12-15.

The semi-finals will occur on August 18 and 19 and the last on August 23 in the Portuguese capital. The arrangement takes into account speedier fruition of the period than the conventional two-legged home and away organization yet implies the opposition will have six fewer games which will cost UEFA communicate income.

UEFA are set to finish the Champions League with a ‘Last Eight’ competition held more than 11 days in Lisbon

The games are probably going to be shared between Lisbon’s two significant arenas – Benfica’s Estadio da Luz and Sporting Lisbon’s Jose Alvalade arena. Coordinators are continuing on the premise that matches will be played away from plain view yet UEFA is comprehended to have welcomed potential changes should general wellbeing conditions in Portugal permit.

The groups previously equipped for the quarter-finals are France’s Paris St Germain, Italy’s Atalanta, Spain’s Atletico Madrid, and Germany’s RB Leipzig. The staying most recent 16 second-leg installations are Manchester City’s home leg against Real Madrid, Chelsea’s outing to Bayern Munich, Juventus’ home game against Olympique Lyonnais and Napoli’s visit to Barcelona.

Istanbul was because of host 2020 last however will presently, rather be the scene for the 2021 version, with all other planned hosts moving back a year. A comparative arrangement will be utilized to choose the Europa League rivalry at German scenes from August 10.

UEFA are set to finish the Champions League with a ‘Last Eight’ competition held more than 11 days in Lisbon

The staying last 16 games will be held at unbiased settings in Germany with the ‘Last Eight’ held in Duisburg, Duesseldorf, Gelsenkirchen, and Cologne. Manchester United, AS Roma, and Inter Milan, are among the groups despite everything associated with the Europa League. The customary opener to the European season, the UEFA Super Cup, is relied upon to be held in Budapest on September 24.

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Springboks coach Nienaber can’t wait to back on the park

CAPE TOWN – While Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber is expecting teething problems when South African teams get back onto the field, he reckons intensity won’t be a problem when that day comes. Rugby fans can book British and Irish Lions Tour Tickets on our website on exclusively discounted prices.

Nienaber was speaking at the Food Forward South Africa warehouse in Cape Town yesterday, where he and Bok skipper Siya Kolisi, assistant coach Mzwandile Stick, Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Blitzboks and Imbokodo captains Siviwe Soyizwapi and Zintle Mpupha assisted in packing food parcels to aid hunger alleviation.

Springboks coach Nienaber can't wait to back on the park
Springboks coach Nienaber can’t wait to back on the park

On the initiative, he said: “In January and February, when we started talking about the year, everybody felt that they wanted to give back, and then came COVID and this initiative. When the idea came out in our Whatsapp group, within second the guys started responding saying ‘I will give this’, so the guys were in it, boots and all, right from the start.”

With South African rugby looking to return to play in August, the Bok coach said that they need to build on what they achieved in Japan, regardless of whether any Tests will be played this year.

“I don’t think any of us can wait to get back, and we want to build continuity with what we did in Japan. We finished our alignment camps at the start of the lockdown and we created profiles on all the players. At this stage the unions are in charge of their players, so they take charge of their conditioning and rehabilitation, but we communicate with the unions weekly.”

Jacques Nienaber

Nienaber explained how he and the director of rugby Rassie Erasmus are going about things during the pandemic.

Springboks coach Nienaber can't wait to back on the park
Springboks coach Nienaber can’t wait to back on the park

“Rassie and I talk every day. He’s more off-the-field at this stage, so I’ll talk to the coaches about the coaching plan and how we plan to take it forward. We’ve created profiles on every one of our players based on the few Super Rugby games played.”

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Madrid Wants Relocated Champions League Final

Madrid is eager to host the Champions League Final in August amid the virus pandemic, the city hall leader of the Spanish capital said Friday. José Luis Martínez-Almeida said the city would be set up to have the last for the second consecutive year — alongside the quarterfinals and elimination rounds — if UEFA proceeds with plans to move the game from Istanbul.

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Madrid is eager to host the Champions League Final in August

“I need to show that there is full help to bring the Champions League Final to Madrid, Martínez-Almeida told 13tv in a meeting distributed on Friday. The correct security conditions are set up and we have the foundation and open administrations that would permit us to have it. It would be a message to the world that Madrid never surrenders and that it has recouped in the wake of everything that we experienced.”

Notwithstanding, an individual with information on the circumstance told The Associated Press a week ago that Portugal and Germany are the two in all likelihood contenders as substitution have. A UEFA official panel meeting on June 25 is relied upon to choose the new area for the last that is probably going to be played in August. It was initially booked to occur in Istanbul on May 30.

Istanbul was picked in 2018 in front of Lisbon to have 2020 last. Turkey still can’t seem to be officially administered out of the facilitating. Yet, a reshaped position is set to see a similar nation additionally have the quarterfinals and elimination rounds in August after the principle household seasons have wrapped up.

Madrid is eager to host the Champions League Final in August

Generally, just the last is held at a nonpartisan setting, however, UEFA moved to want to utilize a solitary nation for the last eight to finish the opposition during the pandemic. Spain was one of the hardest-hit nations by the pandemic however has been stepping by step lifting constrainment limitations as the number of cases and passing’s die down.

The Spanish group will restart on Saturday, just about a quarter of a year after it was suspended because of the pandemic. The association has not precluded permitting fans into arenas this season, which could reinforce Madrid’s case. Almeida-Martínez said the alliance’s arrival will help show how Spain is set up to have the Champions League Final.

He didn’t expound on what plans are being examined for Madrid to be considered as a host once more. Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa as of late referenced potential “uplifting news” for football in the Iberian country in August. Two arenas in Lisbon have been skimmed — with Benfica facilitating the last and Sporting Lisbon’s setting additionally utilized.

Madrid is eager to host the Champions League Final in August

Madrid facilitated a year a go’s last when Liverpool beat Tottenham at Atlético Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Spain’s top games government official, Irene Lozano, said as of late that Spain needs to keep driving the route globally by “securely sorting out” significant games.

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