As we enter nearly three weeks since most European leagues decided to put a halt to their seasons due to the spread of the coronavirus, there’s plenty of speculation as to when the games will return and what will become of the UEFA Champions League.
In a recent interview with La Repubblica (via Culture PSG), UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin spoke about the various scenarios they have in place for the return of football to Europe. Čeferin made it clear that he nor anyone in the association has a final plan since they don’t know when the pandemic will end.
“We have a plan A, B or C: we are in contact with the leagues, the clubs, we have a working group. We have to wait like all the other sectors,” Čeferin said. “The options? Repeat in mid-May, June, or even late June. Then if we don’t succeed, the season will probably be lost.”
The option that will likely garner everyone’s attention is the possibility of UEFA outright canceling the remainder of the 2019-20 season. With FIFA potentially extending expiring contracts and pushing back the start of the summer transfer window, it gives time to save the current season.
However, if the pandemic continues, then UEFA needs to think about next season. How late can they start the season without it effecting much of the 2020-21 season?
“There is even a proposal to end this season at the start of next season, which would start a little later. We will see what is the best solution for leagues and clubs,” Čeferin said.
With the postponement of the UEFA European Championship until next year, Culture PSG mentions that next season would have to conclude by June 11. It’s more than likely that the summer window will stay open past the August 31 deadline and will overlap into the fall.
Depending on when the new season starts, clubs will play with players coming in and out of their squads. Also, with a late start, it could mean a condensed schedule with more matches within the week to try and meet the early June conclusion.
Needless to say, UEFA will be quite busy the next few weeks as they try to piece together this complicated football puzzle.
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