UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admits that the 2019-20 season may have to be scrapped if none of his three potential solutions work.
Football across Europe has come to a halt in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, leading to uncertainty over whether or not the season will be able to be completed.
The FA have already announced that certain non-league divisions have been declared null and void for 2019-20, leading to fears that the same may occur in higher leagues – potentially wrecking the efforts of teams like Liverpool, who were inches away from a first Premier League title when the season was paused.
It has already been suggested that teams may have to play through the summer to accommodate the leftover fixtures, although the response to this grueling schedule has not been particularly positive.
Now, UEFA chief Ceferin has revealed when he ideally wants the action to get back underway – while admitting his efforts may be in vain.
“Nobody knows when the pandemic will end,” he told La Repubblica (via Sky Sports).
“We have a plan A, B or C: to restart in mid-May, in June or at the end of June.
“If then we wouldn’t be able to do any of these, the season would probably be lost. There is also the possibility of ending this season at the start of the next, which would then be postponed, starting a little later.
“We’re in touch with the leagues, the clubs, there is a working group and we’ll see what solution is best for all. We have to wait, like any other sector.”
Quizzed over the possibility of action resuming behind closed doors once it is safe enough, Ceferin thinks it should be the last resort – but would be better than scrapping the season altogether.
“It’s difficult to imagine all the games behind closed doors, but right now we don’t even know if we will resume, with or without fans.
“If there are no other alternatives, it would still be better to conclude the leagues. I can say that I’m not thinking about staging the European cup finals behind closed doors.
“In this dramatic moment, the most important thing is health, and to get out of this crisis. The interruption of football symbolises that Europe and the world have stopped.
“European football is strongly united.”