Only 210 Bottles Of Water Allowed Per Team, No Shirt Swaps: Strict Rules Inside The Champs League Lisbon Bubble

As clubs fly out to the Lisbon bubble for the home straight of the Champions League, the competing sides have been handed an extensive set of new rules to follow. 

The coronavirus pandemic means that the rest of the knockout fixtures will be played in the Portuguese capital as one-legged ties in a neutral venue, replacing the traditional two-legged home-and-away ties in the lead up to the final.

But that's not the only new procedure teams need to adhere to. Sportsmail takes a look at the very tight restrictions the Champions League sides will be following while out in Lisbon...


Like international teams at a World Cup or European Championships, each squad has been allocated a hotel and training area that is separate from the rest of the teams. But this is no normal hotel visit. 

To prevent the spread of a potential virus, players are not allowed to leave the hotel unless it has been previously agreed by the club. That means no lunchtime walks or a trip down to the shops for any last-minute essentials.

For the clubs that end up staying in Lisbon for a longer period of time, such as the two teams who play in the final on August 23, short excursions are allowed but social distancing rules must be adhered to.  

Inside the hotel, players must have their own room - meaning no room-mates or late-night chats between team-mates. 

The players, coaches and staff have a designated eating area within the hotel, but food must be provided by the club's nutrition team. 

The food can't be handed to the players and coaches either - it must be left on the table for the players to collect.

Players can't do the dishes after the meal, that must be done by hotel staff. 

Meanwhile, all laundry must be done by team staff and not the hotel staff or the players themselves. 


The Champions League teams will be doing several coronavirus tests before each match to make sure they are not spreading the virus on the pitch.

Each team took a Covid-19 test before they flew out to Lisbon and also took one upon their arrival in the Portuguese capital. 

They will do another test the day before each match and results need to be presented to UEFA six hours before kick-off. There is also a temperature check and a more basic Covid-19 test when they enter the stadium on the matchday.

If a player tests positive in any of these tests, such as Atletico Madrid duo Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko, then they cannot be part of the matchday squad and must isolate immediately. 

Teams must have at least 13 players available for each match - including one recognised goalkeeper - for the game to go ahead. If one team cannot fulfil this requirement, the other team is awarded a default 3-0 victory.

If both teams cannot put out 13 players each, then UEFA will look to reschedule the match.   


Teams have also been given a set amount of hydration supplements by UEFA so players are not spreading the virus during training sessions and matches.

Each club has been allocated 210 bottles of water to use per day, while only 90 bottles of Gatorade have been rationed to the competing sides, as well as 50kg of ice.   

In the stadium itself, each club must provide its own food for before and after matches and it must conform to hygiene regulations. 

Pre-match travel 

The teams travelled to Lisbon via the VIP areas at airports so as not to come into contact with members of the general public.   

The plane had to be disinfected before and after the players and coaches used it and if they are providing their own team bus then that must be disinfected in the same way too. 

Social distancing must be followed on board the buses and planes, meaning some clubs need to take multiple buses in order to transport their 20-man squad plus coaches and club delegates.   

When exiting the coach, they must use the middle door of the bus and not the front one so not to come into contact with the driver.   

Changing rooms 

Teams are likely to be spaced out in the changing rooms to conform with social distancing rules but the players have lost several other perks of the dressing room lifestyle.

Jacuzzis, saunas, ice-baths and pools are not allowed to be used after the match due to hygiene regulations.

They can still get their massages and treatments from club staff, but these beds, treatment tables and other fitness equipment also need to be disinfected before and after use. 

Players can't simply just pick one side of the pitch and go through their various drills anymore - UEFA have issued guidelines of what areas they are allowed to warm-up in before Champions League matches and which areas they aren't.   

The quick fast-feet drills must be done away from the playing surface on the side of the pitch, while the penalty areas cannot be used to warm-up in. 

This means goalkeepers cannot train in the goal and must go elsewhere to get used to the ball. 

After the match, players not involved in the game - such as unused substitutes - tend to do a warm down to keep their fitness levels up. Not anymore.

UEFA have said this is not allowed due to social distancing rules, but also to protect the pitch as games will be played every two or three days in the two Portuguese venues.  

Players have also been told to leave the stadium as quickly as possible after the game has finished. 


When the teams come out to the sound of the famous Champions League anthem before the game, there is one social distancing rule they need to remember. 

Players and referees must be separated by a metre when they line-up before the game. 

Meanwhile, the coin toss involving the captains and the match officials happens as normal - but with social distancing rules applied. 

Teams can swap club pennants if they want to - but are banned from swapping shirts after the game. 
Anti-doping tests 

After the match, UEFA officials tend to pick one member from each team to take part in an anti-doping test to make sure they or their team-mates are not taking any illegal substances.

The way this normally works is a UEFA staff member watches a player produce a urine sample in a toilet after the match. 

In order to maintain social distancing, a mirror has been placed in the toilet so that the UEFA staff member can observe the urine sample being made properly, without coming too close to the player.