With the first leg of the 2021/22 Champions League going on, UEFA is believed to be considering making serious changes to the format of the competition in the future, reports The Times.
Real Madrid are one of the four semi-finalists this season and fell to a 4-3 defeat in the first leg on Tuesday against Manchester City. However, they will have a second bite at the apple when the two teams clash in the second leg at the Bernabeu next week.
However, that might not be the case in the future as UEFA is considering doing away with two-legged semi-finals.
Instead, plans are being chalked out to play the two semi-finals and the final in a single week and in one city, as was the case during the 2019/20 campaign which was hit by Covid-19.
The two-legged semi-final format has been in place since 1995 when the European Cup was launched. But several prominent figures, including PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, are throwing their weight behind the new proposal being dubbed the “week of football” plan.
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin is also in the favour of the change and has spoken positively about the idea in the past. Now, the report states that the European Club Association (ECA) is also ready to back the proposal.
The European Leagues Association would also need to agree to the idea. Even if it is passed, the changes would only come into practice from the 2024/25 season when UEFA are set to introduce a new format in the Champions League.
While it would ease some pressure from the packed fixture schedule, the new format would also take away the magic of second-leg comebacks at the semi-final stages.
Should the plan go ahead, the number of cities that can host the “Champions League week of football” would be whittled down to around half a dozen venues, including London, Paris, Madrid, Rome and Istanbul among others.
Real Madrid want to bring radical changes in Spanish refereeing system – report
Jose Felix Diaz has reported via MARCA that Real Madrid want a major change in the Spanish refereeing system.
The reporter writes that the team from the Spanish capital has taken the issue as their top priority mostly because of what happened in the recent derby defeat against Atletico Madrid.
Los Blancos are determined to relentlessly steer a significant overhaul of the refereeing structure, and they have no intention of resting in their pursuit.
Their discontent comes not only from recent events, particularly the contentious derby match but also from a deep-seated frustration with the state of refereeing itself.
Real Madrid not hiding their discontent
The journalist mentions that Real Madrid are unapologetic about their continuous criticism of the refereeing community, firmly believing that a transformation is of utmost importance.
Even prior to the emergence of the Negreira case, the Merengues had been vocal about their dissatisfaction with those responsible for overseeing the refereeing unit.
For what it is worth, the revelation of the former vice president of the CTA’s financial ties to Barcelona only solidified Real Madrid’s resolve to advocate for a complete overhaul in referee management.
Real Madrid are suspicious
Real Madrid firmly assert that any influence from Negreira’s historical decisions in certain key positions raises suspicions about the fairness of the competition.
For that, the management will do everything in its power to achieve a certain level of transparency within the organization that it believes is currently overshadowed by historical baggage.
As of today, Real Madrid continue to voice their concerns through their official channels.
Right now their ultimate goal is to eliminate the involvement of Clos Gomez in VAR decisions, marking the beginning of a long-standing battle they are fighting.