UEFA president Ceferin confirms plans to finish European competitions

Date published: Sunday 17th May 2020 1:54

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has confirmed that plans are in place to finish the Champions League and Europa League if the green light is given to do so.

Europe’s premier competitions were halted on March 11 and March 12, respectively, with Liverpool being dumped out of the Champions League a day before Wolves and Manchester United featured in the first leg of behind-closed doors Europa League ties.

UEFA has a plan in place, wanting to end the 2019/20 campaign with the Champions League final at the end of August, and Ceferin thinks that will be possible.

“We have a concrete plan of finishing the European season,” he told beIN Sports. “Of course, this summer we will have to play without spectators at the stadiums.

“I think the majority of leagues will finish the season. The ones who will not, it’s their decision. But they will still have to play qualifiers if they want to participate in the European UEFA competition.

“I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is as it is now, in August. As things look now, I’m sure that we can finish the European season and this means UEFA competition.

“The national leagues are a separate thing and they will decide separately how they want to proceed. But I think at least 80 per cent will finish the season.”

As for domestic football across Europe, the top two flights of German football resumed on Saturday but the Bundesliga remains the only major European league to have done so.

 

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France and Holland have cancelled their seasons, while start dates in June have been mooted for the Premier League, the Serie A and LaLiga.

“We trust Germans, their authorities are very serious… It’s not only about football,” Ceferin said of the Bundeslig’s resumption.

“It’s about people being depressed because we are locked down, because there is so much uncertainty, and football brings life to a usual level. Football brings positive energy. It’s easier to be home if you can watch sports!

“So I think it’s a great [example of] cooperation between the German league and the German government. I hope, and think, they will be very successful.”

The Premier League’s return has been shrouded in controversy, from fears over player safety to disagreements over player safety and the issue of whether relegation should remain in place.

Newcastle boss Steve Bruce has insisted that players will need until the end of June to get up to speed before football in England can resume.

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