UEFA Confirms Postponement of All Champions League and Europa League Matches

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2020

The UEFA Champions League football trophy is pictured prior to the cup's round of 16 draw ceremony on December 16, 2019 in Nyon. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

UEFA has announced that no Champions League or Europa League matches will be played next week because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

European football's governing body released a statement on its official Twitter account and website on Friday:

A section of the statement read:

"As a consequence of the postponements, the Champions League and Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for March 20 have also been postponed.

"UEFA yesterday invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to a videoconference meeting on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football's response to the outbreak."

UEFA had already confirmed that Manchester City's clash with Real Madrid and Juventus' match with Lyon had been postponed as a result of players self-isolating, but Barcelona's meeting with Napoli and Bayern Munich's game with Chelsea are also now off.

In the UEFA Europa League, six of the eight scheduled matches took place on Thursday night; Sevilla and Roma's match, as well as Inter Milan's showdown with Getafe, were postponed. The second legs of the clashes played were set to go ahead next week.

Martyn Ziegler of The Times said the logistics of rearranging these matches will be a challenge:

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The cancellation of matches sees UEFA fall in line with a number of major leagues that have put their seasons on hold. France's Ligue 1, Spain's La Liga, the Dutch Eredivisie, Portugal's Primeira Liga and North America's Major League Soccer have all called off matches in attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The Premier League has confirmed it is holding an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the status of upcoming matches.

On Thursday night, Arsenal announced that manager Mikel Arteta had the virus, with Chelsea later revealing forward Callum Hudson-Odoi had contracted COVID-19. Everton also announced that their entire squad was self-isolating as a precaution ahead of Monday's scheduled Merseyside derby with Liverpool after a first-team player showed symptoms.

As things stand, the Bundesliga is set to go ahead with games behind closed doors, with leaders Bayern Munich posting on Twitter that they will travel to the capital to face Union Berlin on Saturday.

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