UEFA Announce Intention to Complete Champions, Europa Leagues Amid Coronavirus

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistMarch 17, 2020

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin speaks during the 44th Ordinary UEFA Congress , in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on March 3, 2020. (Photo by Robin VAN LONKHUIJSEN / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
ROBIN VAN LONKHUIJSEN/Getty Images

UEFA have set up a working group in order to find a rescheduling solution for the Champions League and Europa League. 

Both competitions are on hold while the sporting world responds to the coronavirus pandemic, but the governing body has said they're in discussions with clubs and leagues over strategies to complete both tournaments.

According to Tyrone Marshall of the Manchester Evening News, a UEFA spokesperson said: "A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today."

Marca (h/t ESPN FC's Dale Johnson) tweeted revised dates for both finals:

UEFA agreed on Tuesday a commitment to complete all club competitions across Europe by June 30, with extra flexibility injected into domestic and European competition schedules. Matches can be played midweek to help finish leagues, and European games might take place at weekends.

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Future sporting events remain on hold indefinitely while governments across the planet decide on expanded measures to halt the coronavirus pandemic from spreading.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said world football needs to unite and do its best during the challenging weeks ahead, per Marshall.

"We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent," Ceferin said. "It is at times like these, that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism."

Ceferin added the health and safety of fans, players and staff remain UEFA's primary priority, and that the governing body has presented options to its member states to help complete their competitions.

UEFA decided on Tuesday to postpone Euro 2020 for 12 months, potentially allowing space later in the year for domestic leagues and European club tournaments to be completed.

"It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice," Ceferin said. "Moving Euro 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women’s football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected."

Ceferin also said the thought of holding Euro 2020 without supporters in near-empty stadiums would be "joyless," with the competition set to celebrate 60 years since its inception.

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