UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin says that football leagues are ready to resume and play their matches without spectators at the stadiums in order to avoid more economic losses caused by inaction occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Ceferin however notes that the leagues need their respective countries’ authorities’ greenlight before the clubs could resume training and matches played behind closed doors, with the fans watching on television from their homes.
“I believe there are options that can allow us to restart cup championships and to complete them,” Ceferin told Italian daily, Corriere della Sera.
“We may have to resume without spectators, but the most important thing, I think, is playing games.
“It is early to say that we cannot complete the season. The impact would be terrible for clubs and leagues. Better to play behind closed doors than not at all.
Ceferin added: “In such hard times it would bring happiness to people and a certain sense of normality even if the games can only be seen on TV.
“All activities are being organised to start again, everyone needs to find their lives.
“If safety measures are respected and if the authorities give the green light, the training could resume like the rest.
“Further consent will be needed for matches.”
Ceferin hints that UEFA has mapped out how the Champions League and Europa League schedules will be played if leagues resumed “soon enough”. The plan is to have the games of both competitions played in parallel, with no fixed date for the finals.
The UEFA boss does not fancy the leagues returning in September and October, fearing it “would have a heavy impact” on the 2020-2021 season.
“We can finish, but we must respect the decisions taken by authorities,” Ceferin reiterated.
“The priority is the health of fans, players and coaches.”
He also states that UEFA will review the cases of leagues which are determined to finish the 2019/2020 season.
“Such decisions were not made alone. Football is interconnected, we have seen how important it is for UEFA and leagues to work in good cooperation. The executive committee will review the cases,” he said.
“Leagues are the revenue base for clubs nationwide. If completed, the financial consequences will be limited.
“UEFA, on the other hand, will lose a lot of money for postponing Euro 2020.”
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