UEFA working on rules for leagues to cancel seasons

Sport

UEFA has released a statement after its latest meeting about resuming the domestic seasons across Europe and admitted it may not be possible in some countries.

Following a videoconference call with its 55 member associations, UEFA revealed that its working groups are putting together plans for leagues which decide to cancel the season.

Previously European soccer’s governing body had said any national leagues which canceled the season early could be punished with their teams not qualifying for the Europa League of Champions League next season.

“There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top division and cup competitions, although it is understood that there may be some special cases. With this in mind, UEFA is currently developing some guidelines concerning participation in its club competitions, in order to assist its member associations in case of a cancelled league or cup. Any developments on the above topics would be announced after the UEFA Executive Committee on Thursday.”

The next meeting on Thursday will reveal more details on this situation but for the first time UEFA is admitting leagues may have to cancel their season.

That is a big step.

UEFA’s president Aleksander Ceferin has relaxed initial deadlines (they had wanted to get the domestic seasons finished by June 30) and it has been reported that the plan for the Champions League and Europa League finals it for them to be played in late August.

This is a fluid situation and within Europe the situation is very different for certain countries. Players in Germany have already returned to training in the Bundesliga, while in the UK it seems unlikely players in the Premier League will return to action any earlier than June.

Social distancing rules in Denmark, Austria and elsewhere are set to be relaxed and there’s not a ‘one size fits all’ solution for European soccer.

UEFA have recognized that and it will be very interesting to see how individual national FA’s respond to this new statement.