Lisbon Covid-19 spike won’t halt Champions League

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin has stated that the Champions League will continue in Portugal as planned, despite a Covid-19 spike in Lisbon that could derail the elite club football competition.

Portugal was chosen as the destination to stage the conclusion of the Champions League in August, with the major competition having been postponed since March due to Covid-19.

However, from July 1st, a setback has seen 19 neighbourhoods north of Portugal’s host city Lisbon going back into lockdown, with gatherings limited to just five people.

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa held discussions with Čeferin, as well as Portuguese Football Federation (PFF) President Fernando Gomes via video call on June 30th before the mini-tournament gets underway in August.

“I would like to thank the Portuguese prime minister Antonio Costa for his dedication to this project and the work he is doing alongside the Portuguese Football Federation to ensure that Portugal delivers a successful tournament,” Čeferin said in a statement.

“I am confident that with the continued and constant collaboration between all stakeholders, we will conclude the season in a positive way in Lisbon. There is no need for a ‘Plan B’.”

At this stage, the Champions League restart will take place as planned on the following dates, as single-leg knockout ties will decide this year’s winner:

August 7-8: Round of 16 second legs
August 12-15: Quarter-finals (Lisbon)
August 18-19: Semi-finals (Lisbon)
August 23: Final (Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Lisbon)

Champions League ties from the quarter-finals onwards will be split between Benfica’s Stadium of Light and Sporting Lisbon’s Estádio José Alvalade.

The final-eight part of the tournament will begin from August 12, with some fixtures still to be decided. Half of the round of 16 ties have been completed – Paris Saint-Germain, Atlético Madrid, RB Leipzig and Atalanta made it through to the quarter-finals.

The round of 16 second legs yet to be played are Juventus vs Lyon (0-1), Manchester City vs Real Madrid (2-1), Bayern vs Chelsea (3-0) and Barcelona vs Napoli (1-1). Venues for the remaining Round of 16 contests have not been confirmed yet.

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Graduates congratulated after completing FIFA Diploma in Club Management program

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has congratulated the 2024 graduates of the FIFA Diploma in Club Management course at FIFA headquarters, which include former Socceroo Tim Cahill and former Manchester City player Fernandinho.

Since its launch in 2021, the FIFA Diploma in Club Management has become a networking platform for senior club executives to share knowledge about the industry insights essential for successful football club management. The 18-month course is comprised of six-course models, each covering important topics and aspects of club management.

The topics which are covered in this course are leadership and management, sporting strategy and youth academies, marketing and communication, club operations and stadium management, governance and legal matters and finance.

Infantino spoke to the attendees of the graduation ceremony in Zurich, Switzerland:

“The course’s aim was to encourage knowledge and best practice exchange to be able to ensure football’s continued growth and health worldwide,” he said in a statement.

“You understand that club football is crucial for the development and the survival of football in all countries of the world.

“That is what we have to foster and what we have to work on, and to do this, you have to be well-equipped and well-prepared, and this is our aim at FIFA: to give you this preparation, to give you this equipment, to open the doors of FIFA here in Zurich and everywhere in the world.

“Our doors are open for you to come and exchange with us, and also to exchange between yourselves.”

The graduates of the second edition of the FIFA Diploma in Club Management started back in September 2022 in New York where they attended lectures given by the likes of FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger and FIFA Chief Women’s Football Officer Sarai Berman and their final project of the course was a strategy plan which was presented before the graduation.

The third edition of the program began in May 2024 and is headed by FIFA Director of Professional Football Ornella Desirée Bellia. Some of the participants who are involved include former Juventus player Giorgio Chiellini and Como 1907 coach Cesc Fàbregas alongside club owners, CEO’s and sporting directors.

Soccerscene celebrates sixth-year anniversary

Soccerscene is celebrating its sixth anniversary as Australia’s business-to-business publication for the football community.

Since its inception, Soccerscene has committed to the highest standards of reporting on the most pressing topics surrounding the world of sports business. We have been the first port of call for potential buyers and sellers and deliver all the first-hand news – including interviews, discussions, product reviews, case studies and insight into all facets of the growing Australian and international football market.

Here at Soccerscene, we can’t celebrate six years without thanking all our readers, followers and the numerous industry and club communities for helping us along the way.

Special thanks goes to our major partners including Football Coaches Australia, Professional Footballers Australia and Box2Box – your constant support has been crucial to all we have achieved over these last six years.

Thank you to everyone and we are excited for the future years ahead in this constantly developing industry – from all us at Soccerscene.

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