When will the Champions League and Europa League 2019-20 knockouts finish?

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As football finds its way back from the coronavirus pandemic, league competitions around Europe have their schedules set out.

The Bundesliga has already restarted and the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A are all set to follow suit, while the Ligue 1 season was cut short.

Finishing league and domestic cup competitions is the priority for authorities at the moment, but Europe’s top clubs are keen to know if and when the Champions League and Europa League can be completed. At the moment, no schedule has been officially laid out, but there are dates within which the tournament would have to happen.

UEFA is set to stage a meeting on June 17 in order to try and work out a plan to finish the Champions League and Europa League.

UEFA president Aleksandar Ceferin has said he wants the European season to be finished by August, with leagues planning to return for the 2020-21 campaign in September.

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Given the congested schedules adopted by the major leagues in order to finish their domestic campaigns, it is almost certain that the Champions League and Europa League would return after league seasons have finished.

The Premier League is hoped to be finished within weeks of restarting, with the FA Cup final on the weekend of August 1. It currently seems likely that the European tournaments would resume around this time, if it is finished.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas had appeared to let the cat out of the bag, claiming in early May that his side’s game with Juventus had been rescheduled for August 7. Lyon later denied that this was the case.

Clubs and authorities are incredibly keen to finish the European competitions as the broadcasting money brought in forms a key part of UEFA’s solidarity funds during the coronavirus pandemic, but with games taking place across international borders, doing so presents even more of a challenge than that of domestic tournaments.

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Many countries in Europe currently impose a 14-day quarantine on new arrivals from overseas, though such restrictions could potentially be lifted by August. However, some may find the idea of players travelling from country to country unpalatable in the current climate.

This could see all remaining games played in the same location, or at least a reduced number of venues. According to the Independent, Istanbul may no longer host the Champions League final as it is unlikely the Turkish capital would make a return on its investment if fans cannot travel to the final.

When play was stopped, the Champions League round of 16 was almost complete. Paris Saint-Germain, Atalanta, Atletico Madrid and RB Leipzig had all qualified for the quarter-finals at the expense of Borussia Dortmund, Valencia, Liverpool and Tottenham respectively.

Manchester City had a 2-1 lead to defend against Real Madrid, while Lyon held a slender 1-0 advantage over JuventusNapoli and Barcelona were level at 1-1, while Bayern Munich had one foot in the quarter-finals after thrashing Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.

The Europa League round of 16 had only just begun, with six of the eight first legs played. Manchester United, Basel and Bayer Leverkusen looked likely to progress after claiming big wins away from home.

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