29/04/2022; 8:38 AM By : Steven D. Thompson
UEFA want the semi-finals played as a four-club tournament played in a single city.
The face of football continues to change, and the fans must be out of breath trying to catch up. Over the years, the sport has witnessed several rule changes. The rule changes range from offside to handball and punishment for erring offenders. Most notably is the introduction of VAR. The sport has continued to evolve, yet it seems not enough as there is always something worthy of complaint.
The competitive nature of the business world has ensured that FIFA and UEFA continually innovate to get their share of a limited cash pool. With more money pumped into the game, the more competitive it becomes, and the football governing bodies continuously try to create a level playing field. The stakes are now higher, but the integrity of the football bodies continues to dip and give rise to rule changes that could launder their image.
Another change is in the offing, with UEFA looking to effect a new format for its premier club competition – the Champions League. UEFA are considering scrapping the current situation of two-legged semi-finals and replacing it with something different.
The Champions League is a two-legged affair until the final. The final is a single-legged affair on a neutral ground. UEFA seem to think that it is obsolete and are considering scrapping it. The two-legged Champions League semi-finals are under threat and could be replaced with a new format.
Rule changes seem to have become commonplace in football, as it is almost a new rule for every competition. The latest recommendation comes at the heel of the Champions League winding to a close.
UEFA scrapped the away goal rule ahead of the current season, and next season is poised to witness another change. From 2024, the Champions League would undergo a complete overhaul, increasing the number of teams from 32 to 36. It also contains the prospect of teams with a strong history in the Champions League being guaranteed places.
The latest change seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to the European Super League (ESL) that has threatened the monopoly of UEFA.
UEFA are perhaps slow to the game, with thea mulled not novel. The Spanish Super Cup involved four teams played in Saudi Arabia. It was a resounding success that generated financial success for the Spanish FA. As interesting as it is that UEFA wants to toe the line, it seems to be a reaction to the forces challenging their monopoly.
The Times reports that UEFA want to dump their current format of playing the semi-finals over two legs, favouring a new one tagged a new week of football and hosted in a single city.
UEFA are yet to decide but already have the support of the European Club Association (ECA). The European football governing body will also need the backing of the European League Association to effect these changes.
Following the advent of Covid-19 that forced the Champions League on hold, the restart of the 2019-20 campaign saw the rest of the competition played in Lisbon, which saw Bayern Munich emerge Champions.
For the current Champions League campaign, top football bookmakers have Manchester City as favourites to win the trophy, with rivals Liverpool not far off as well.