UEFA announces that the finals for the European competitions has been postponed until further notice.
According to a report by BBC Sport, The Champions League and the Europa League finals have been postponed until further notice amidst the chaos created by Coronavirus.
There is very little to zero chance that the European competitions will be able to go on as planned and be able to organise a final in May because of the ongoing pandemic.
The Champions League final was supposed to be played on May 30, in Istanbul. While the Europa League final was set to be played on 27 May, in Gdansk.
The statement from UEFA goes on saying: “UEFA [have] formally taken the decision to postpone the club finals originally scheduled for May 2020. No decision has yet been made on rearranged dates.
“The working group, established last week as a result of the conference call among the stakeholders of European football, which was chaired by Uefa President, Aleksander Ceferin, will analyse the options available. The group has already begun its examination of the calendar. Announcements will be made in due course.”
This decision comes after the EURO 2020 was postponed by a calendar year a few weeks back, and is now set to be played in the summer of the 2021.
However, at the moment, UEFA is planning to organise a mini tournament to be played in Istanbul and Gdansk for UCL and UEL respectively, which will feature one legged ties. Moreover, all these games will be played behind closed doors.
The obvious problem that arises with this is that the competitions are at different stages.
The Champions League has concluded 4 of the 8 Round of 16 games, with Liverpool, Valencia, Borussia Dortmund, and Tottenham Hotspur knocked out. The Europa League is in the middle of the Round of 16 as well, with 4 teams yet to play even a single fixture.
Another difficulty that may arise with this format is that the leagues, too, are at varied stages. At the moment, they’re suspended indefinitely but may resume at different times in different countries.
It is very problematic for UEFA to reach a conclusion on this topic, but putting players in risk just to finish a competition or playing matches of the biggest football event without fans should be the last things on their mind.