US location to host latter stages of regional Champions League

CONCACAF is set to follow Europe’s lead by holding the latter stages of the regional Champions League tournament at a single hub.

The governing body for football in North America, Central America and the Caribbean has announced plans to host the seven outstanding 2020 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League (SCCL) games – quarter-finals, semi-finals and final – behind closed doors in an as-yet-unconfirmed centralised location in the US in December.

CONCACAF said the venue and kick-off times will be confirmed in the coming weeks, with the competition to take place between December 15-22.

The quarter-finalists are Major League Soccer teams Atlanta United, Impact Montreal, LAFC and NYCFC, Mexico’s Club America, Tigres UANL and Cruz Azul, and Honduras’ CD Olimpia.

“To resume this important competition, CONCACAF has developed extensive new SCCL regulations to ensure the delivery of a safe and highly controlled environment for all the players, coaches, team staff and officials who will participate,” CONCACAF said in a statement.

“These include a high-frequency COVID-19 testing regime before and during the competition and robust health and safety protocols which will be strictly applied.”

The 2020 SCCL was postponed in March, at the quarter-final stage, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier this year, the final three rounds of Europe’s UEFA Champions League was played out at two stadiums in Lisbon, Portugal, after being postponed for four months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The current holder of the SCCL title is CF Monterrey, who defeated Tigres UANL in the 2019 final, earning their fourth championship. The event’s knockout games, including the final, are usually played over two legs.