In recent years, UEFA has held a draw for the Champions League for the group stage, the round-of-16 and the quarter-finals/semi -finals.
This season a semi final draw was added to add to the already long list of draws throughout the duration of the competition.
Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid- all previous winners of Europe's premier club competition, would have usually known their semi-final opponent straight away as the draw had historically been made along with the quarter-final ties.
However, UEFA implemented a stand-alone semi final draw for the first time but was it really necessary?
Drawing the quarter and semi-finals together provided a clear passage through to the final with teams able to strategise beforehand while fans could salivate at the prospect of the potential blockbuster ties and potentially book flights to semi-final destinations if they’re feeling lucky.
With this new semi-final draw, this privilege is taken away from players, coaches and supporters and there is no justification for it. The long-winded ceremonial approach to the Champions League draw is already time-consuming and expensive.
Teams are already in the dark about whom they will be playing from the completion of the group stage and one feels that leaving the quarter-final draw to determine the pathway to the final is the most logical and rational decision.
In many ways, the FIFA World Cup has a more correct stance. The route to the final is clear from day one and teams and fans can calculate potential opponents.
If fairness of the draw is the reason behind the implementation of a semi-final draw, that argument holds no strength given the last four by definition will consist of Europe's elite so it will not matter much anyway.
In the case of the aforementioned potential semi-final match-ups, it has set up a mouth-watering draw anyhow, so that indicates that a final quarter-final/semi-final draw would be fine the way it is.
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