Nepal | September 27, 2020

Feast of football awaits but no party time in Lisbon

Share Now:

LISBON: It is arguably the biggest sports event of this COVID-infected year — eight of Europe’s top teams in a knockout tournament over 12 days in the Portuguese capital, with the Champions League winner to be crowned at the final on Aug. 23.

But while millions will tune in around the globe, if you walk the streets of Lisbon, you could be forgiven for being unaware that any of this is about to happen.

There are no event welcome signs at the airport and none of the usual associated marketing or football-related advertising.

There are no fan-zones in the city, no posters featuring the star players and certainly nothing like the usual stampede for the last available, over-priced, hotel rooms.

With supporters not allowed to attend matches and even the numbers of media tightly limited, there will be no boost in business for local bars and restaurants.

Indeed, this is unlikely to be party time for Lisbon residents either.

The city is still under a state of alert until midnight on the 14th, which means alcohol consumption in public is prohibited, sale of alcohol stops at 2000 local time, restaurants close at 2300.

Masks are obligatory on public transport and large gatherings are being discouraged.

Even those hoping to simply grab a glimpse of a top player strolling the streets are likely to be disappointed.

The teams are living in secure ‘bubbles’ in their hotel and training facilities which they are only allowed to leave with explicit permission and they are warned against meeting people from outside their team and staff.

Inside the hotels, the players are being given private routes to their own dining areas where the food will be served by club designated staff.


With no fans to worry about, the Portuguese police are focused more on helping maintain the secure environment for the participants than the threat of hooliganism.

“The operation is focused on the stadiums, the hotels, and training locations,” Luis Elias of the PSP police force told a news conference on Tuesday.

“We will be paying particular attention to preventing situations of public disorder and other types of incidents like intrusions in the places where competitions are happening, training locations or where players are resting,” he added.

There is of course, the chance that some fans of teams who reach the final might decide to celebrate that occasion in Portugal rather than sat at home in front of the television. However, for most supporters, the sofa is their most likely venue for a bumper two weeks of football.

And television is, of course, the main reason why organisers UEFA have gone to such lengths to complete their season.

Having already lost the Euro 2020 tournament for national teams, which has been postponed to 2021, UEFA could ill-afford to be faced with massive rebates from its broadcast partners if its club competitions failed to finish.

With one-off quarter-final and semi-final games leading up to the final, all to be decided by extra-time and penalties if needed, the drama should make up for the loss of two-legged home and away ties.

UEFA’s second-tier competition, the Europa League, is being held in similar fashion in Germany, playing on the rest days in the Champions League and providing broadcasters with a daily diet of games.

The Champions League action gets under way on Wednesday with Paris St Germain against Italian club Atalanta and the stand-out quarter-final fixture sees Bayern Munich face Barcelona on Friday.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Dhangadhi Sub-metropolis continues providing free food to returnees from India

DHANGADHI: Dhangadhi Sub-metropolitan City has been providing food and hygiene kits free of cost to Nepalis returning home from India via Trinagar border checkpoint since March. The Sub-metropolis has been providing food for Nepalis who are tired after a long journey from India since the time Read More...

Nepal COVID-19 Update: 1207 new cases, 1147 recoveries, eight fatalities recorded Saturday

KATHMANDU: Nepal’s Health Ministry, in its regular press briefing, shared the latest updates on coronavirus contagion from across the country, and government’s response to the health crisis. As of today, 978,204 tests through Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method have been carried where Read More...

Bajura's Himali Rural Municipality opens rafting in Karnali River

BAJURA: Himali Rural Municipality of hilly Bajura district has started the operation of rafting in Karnali River targeting domestic and international tourists. According to ward chair Gobindra Bahadur Malla, the Rural Municipality has started operating rafting from Dhulachaur to Piluchaur for Read More...

Students demand justice for Bajhang rape victim in Kathmandu

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Students take to the streets on Saturday demanding justice for a 12-year-old girl whose dead body was found in a temple in Bajhang district on Thursday night. The minor was raped before being killed by the culprit/s. As per local police, investigation into the case in unde Read More...

Passengers adopt 'new normal' at Kathmandu airport amid coronavirus scare

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Passengers traveling to and from the capital are seen with personal protective gears at the domestic terminal of the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Photos by Skanda Gautam for The Himalayan Times. Read More...

United earn dramatic win at Brighton with late Fernandes penalty

BRIGHTON: Manchester United beat Brighton & Hove Albion 3-2 away in the Premier League on Saturday after an incredible finale in which Bruno Fernandes struck the winning goal from the penalty spot in the 100th minute of the game. Fernandes's winner, which came after referee Chris Ka Read More...

Chelsea recover from three goals down to draw at West Brom

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham struck a 93rd-minute equaliser as they battled back from three goals down to draw 3-3 at West Bromwich Albion in their Premier League clash on Saturday. An error by Marcos Alonso led to Callum Robinson opening the scoring for West Brom in the fourth minute and t Read More...

A team of women of Police march past in a programme organised to mark the Constitution day at Nepal Army pavilion in Tundikhel, Kathmandu, on Wednesday, September 19, 2018. Photo: Skanda Gautam/THT

Province 2 threatens to knock Supreme Court door

KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 26 Months after the two bills related to adjustment of Nepal Police and Provincial Police were authenticated, provincial governments have not been able to take control of police. As a result, Province 2 government has sent an angry letter to the federal home ministry asking i Read More...