The second phase of the Preliminary Stage of the Champions League will be finished this evening in Budapest. The group play will be completed in April, while the Final Eight is scheduled for June (3-5).
Waspo 98 Hannover was determined as the host of the Final Eight a long time ago, but as things stand now, the best eight European teams won’t battle for the trophy in this German city.
According to our sources, Hannover gave up organising the tournament, because of the strict anti-COVID measures in Germany. Unofficial sources say that Jug and Ferencvaros were offered to host the Final Eight, but both clubs didn’t accept the organisation, and that it is most likely that F8 will be played in the Swimming Centre in Ostia, the venue of Group A of the Preliminary Stage.
If Hannover definitely confirms its withdrawal to host the tournament, Waspo will lose its place at the Final Eight, guaranteed for the home team.
Total Waterpolo contacted LEN to check this information. The press office of the European Federation for aquatic sports confirms that Hannover will probably cancel the organization.
“Due to the very strict restrictions in Germany – and the long-term effect on the businesses including hotels, etc. –, Hannover already notified LEN that the possibility to organise the F8 there is minimal. Consequently, LEN is in contact with potential organisers and is very much towards the end of the progress to find the alternative host “, LEN answered.
“In case the F8 is moved to another location, Waspo will lose its guaranteed spot in the final. However, LEN will not give this spot to the other organiser in this season, the top four sides from each group shall qualify. The conditions for the host are the same since years, it is required to pay 200.000€ as an event fee plus there are certain requests regarding the accommodation and transportation and Host Broadcaster services and, in normal cases, on the venue capacity (this year that may not be a factor)”
The venue capacity may not be a factor this year, because almost all sports events in Europe are holding without spectators. LEN Champions League F8 is no exception.