UEFA keen to finish Champions League, Europa
IMAGE: UEFA Champions League and Europa League logos. Photograph: Reuters
UEFA on Tuesday gave a “strong recommendation” to European football federations to attempt to finish the current season once play is able to resume after the stoppage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The sport has been brought to a standstill by the outbreak with the Euro 2020 competition postponed until next year and both national leagues and continental club competitions on hold.
UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, has made it clear that it wants its member associations to complete their domestic seasons rather than abandon them. It also hopes to finish the Champions League and Europa League competitions.
All 55 member associations took part in a video conference with UEFA officials on Tuesday and while no decisions on future planning are expected until Thursday’s Executive Committee meeting, there was no sign of a switch from the policy to aim to finish the current season.
However, there was a softening in tone over eventual cases where league seasons may be cancelled — an outcome UEFA had been quick to oppose.
“There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top division and cup competitions, but some special cases will be heard once guidelines concerning participation to European competitions — in case of a cancelled league — have been developed,” UEFA said in a statement.
The governing body had previously said, in response to Belgium’s move to end their championship, that cutting seasons short “should really be the last resort after acknowledging that no calendar alternative would allow to conclude the season.”
There has been speculation that UEFA is looking to hold the Champions League and Europa League finals in the last week of August but on Tuesday they said only that a “variety of calendar options were presented covering both national team and club competition matches.”