The Dallas Morning News

UEFA set to approve Champions format


GENEVA — UEFA is set to approve a new 36-team format for the Champions League at an executive committee meeting Monday but delay decisions on control of the finances.

Broad agreement on the key takeaway — adding four teams to the Champions League, each playing 10 games instead of six in a single standings table — has been in place with UEFA and Europe’s top clubs and leagues.

A controvers­ial change is giving two of the four new places, worth tens of millions of euros, to clubs that did not qualify on merit but are ranked highly by UEFA on historical record. This season, such a proposal could have been a safety net for Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund.

Leipzig had an injury-time winner ruled out through VAR and had to settle for a 0-0 draw with Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. A win for Leipzig would have cut Bayern Munich’s lead to two points.

Lille needed a late equalizer from Luiz Araujo to draw 1-1 at home to Montpellie­r and guarantee it will keep top spot in a close French title race, regardless of whether defending champion Paris Saintgerma­in wins this weekend.

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said he plans to start U.S. national team goalkeeper Zack Steffen in Saturday’s FA Cup semifinal against Chelsea at Wembley Stadium. The 26-year-old American has made 10 appearance­s this season.

The U.S. Open Cup will not be held this spring because of the novel coronaviru­s pandemic, a decision that follows the tournament’s cancellati­on last year.

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