One after another the various European leagues suspend their games. First started Italy, which has been affected more than any other country on the continent. It was followed by Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Portugal, the Netherlands, Greece, Cyprus and the only one still holding its championship is the Belgian federation.
UEFA has invited leaders of its 55 member countries to a teleconference this coming Tuesday. But also those of the leagues as well as the Footballers’ Union. The aim is to discuss in detail the serious issue of the crown which seems to be spreading rapidly and no one can say at this time until it can be reached. After all, as scientists have said, the vaccine against the disease will be ready in about a year. So now you have to make some decisions, however tough they may be.
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? In the light of the ongoing developments in the spread of COVID-19 across Europe and the changing analysis of the World Health Organisation, UEFA has today 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 attend meetings by videoconference on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak. Discussions will include all domestic and European competitions, including UEFA EURO 2020. Further communication will be made following those meetings.
Initially, the European Confederation decided and suspended all other UEFA Champions League 16 stage games on 17 and 18 March, including Bayern Munich’s second match against Chelsea, where English striker Callum Hudson-Odoi was found coronavirus.
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Chelsea FC training facility will undergo partial closure after Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for COVID-19. Callum had a positive test result for Coronavirus returned this evening. Chelsea personnel who had recent close contact with the player in the men’s team building will now self-isolate in line with Government health guidelines. These will include initially the full men’s team squad, coaching staff and a number of backroom staff. Despite testing positive for the virus, Callum is doing well and looking forward to returning to the training ground as soon as it is possible. We will continue to adhere to Government and Public Health Guidelines with regard to our facilities and staff and will be discussing next steps with regards to upcoming fixtures with the Premier League on Friday morning. We will provide further updates as necessary via the club’s website. We wish Callum a speedy recovery and look forward to welcoming him back to the club soon. #CFC #Chelsea
At the same time all matches of the 16th phase of the UEFA Europa League, as well as the draws of 19 March, are suspended.
But now the question arises: What will be discussed and, above all, what decisions will be taken on Tuesday? Things are pretty serious. No cost-effective solutions. Will national championships and cups be suspended? Will the European Championships be held regularly in the 12 cities – countries this summer? Would it be preferable for the bad situation to shift for a year afterwards, that is to say, in the summer of 2021? And yet there are other issues: In 2021 we will have the Nation League. The expanded Club World Cup with 24 teams. The European Women’s Championship. So the issue is not simple and the solution is not easy.
A statement from the European federation said:In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed.
This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League, Round of 16-second leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League, Round of 16-second leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020.
As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.
In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed. #UCL and #UEL quarter-final draws have also been postponed.
Full statement: ?
— UEFA (@UEFA) March 13, 2020
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told UEFA’s annual Congress last week in Amsterdam that the consequences of the high-speed spread of coronavirus would be dealt with on a “case by case basis.”
This week, however, his words have been overtaken by events with a floodtide of postponements and closed-door orders following governmental control measures.
This has turned out to be the worst possible year in which UEFA should have chosen to stage its European Championship finals in 12 countries rather than the traditional one or two.
The possibility of finding one potential host for the tournament between June 12 and July 12 has been raised; Turkey has been suggested. But there would no guarantee that all the qualified teams could travel to attend.
In any case, four slots still remain to be decided by playoffs later this month and these ties are in doubt because several of the eight countries involved have either suspended or imposed closed-door orders on their own club competitions.
In general, we would say UEFA and all European federations are in front of a pool of problems with unknown until now what the solution will be, even if the virus is present…