The 2020 CONCACAF Champions League will be played to a finish within the span of one week at a US venue still to be determined, that governing body has announced.
Montreal Impact, who remain in the competition will have yet another sojourn in the US pre-Christmas. The quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will all be played between 15 and 22 December. This may not go down well with the travel-weary Montreal Impact squad.
The Impact trail 1-2 to CD Olimpia of Honduras after the first leg of their last-eight tie at Montreal’s Stade Olympique last March, when two goals from Jerry Bengtsson and Jorge Benguche won the game for the visitors. Saphir Taider replied for Montreal.
Olimpia are unbeaten in Liga National play (won 4, drawn 4) since the resumption of football in Honduras in late September.
The quarter-final game in the US will be payed like the second-leg with CD Olimpia deemed the home team. Away goals still count double in the even t of a tie. This means Montreal Impact will need to score at least twice to prevail.
Two other quarter-finals are similarly affected. Atlanta United are deemed the home side when they face Mexico’s Club America, who won the first-leg 3-0, and Tigres UNAL, also of Mexico, will resume as the home side 1-0 in front against New York City FC.
The remaining quarter-final between LAFC and Mexico’s Cruz Azul which had not begun, will be played as a one-off match.
Should the Impact overturn its deficit against Olimpia they would face either Tigres UNAL or New York City FC in the semi-finals.
Both semi-final matches will be single-leg ties with matches going straight to penalty kicks in the event of a draw, and of course semi-final winners will meet in the final three days before Christmas Day. The Final will include extra time and, if required, penalty kicks.
The Round of 16 games drew record crowds and an aggregate live broadcast audience of 3.7m.
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. 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.
There will be a total of seven (7) games played to determine the regional club champion.
The Confederation will confirm venue details in the USA for the centralized series in the coming weeks.
“At Concacaf our focus in recent months has been to continue supporting our Member Associations and the wider football family during this challenging time, and on working hard to ensure we can resume our suspended competitions,” said Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani.
“It has been extremely pleasing to see so many leagues across the region get back to playing football again and the time is right for our flagship club tournament, the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, to return with the necessary protocols in place to ensure it is safe for everyone involved.
“The football community across the region, and the fans of the remaining eight teams in particular, can look forward to an exciting centralized finale of the competition in December and the crowning of a regional club champion,” added Montagliani.