UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said that this season’s European competition ‘must’ be finished by August 3rd.
Football across the continent has ground to a halt amid the coronavirus pandemic, with it currently unsure how, or indeed if, the remainder of the 2019/20 campaign can be completed.
Football authorities have outlined their determination to complete this seasons remaining fixtures, but having previously stated that the season could be ‘lost’ if it’s not restarted by ‘the end of June’, Ceferin has set out early August as a date in which UEFA’s competitions must be finished.
“It must finish by August 3, both the Champions and Europa League,” Ceferin told German TV station, ZDF.
“It is an extraordinary situation we are in, so we are flexible on dates and kick-off times. If the crisis eases earlier, then we can start sooner.”
Both the Champions League and Europa League are currently on hold at the last 16 stage, with Liverpool and Spurs having already been knocked out, while Man City, Chelsea, Man Utd, Wolves and Rangers all still have another leg to play of their respective fixtures.
However, with six rounds of fixtures currently needing to be played to see each competition come to an end, Ceferin suggested that the tournaments could be adapted to play the quarter and semi-finals over just one leg as opposed to two.
“We could play with the current system, or in a one-off match played on neutral turf. For now, it’s just an option to play with a final eight or final four.
“The only wrong decision we could make now would be to play in a way that puts the health and safety of players, fans and referees at risk.
“However, if we are in secure conditions, then I don’t see the problem.”