European season will finish in August, says Uefa president

Ceferin says reducing the number of host cities for Euro 2020 has been discussed

Empty stands during the game between Fortuna Dusseldorf and SC Paderborn on Saturday as the Bundesliga restarted. Photo: Sascha Schuermann/AFP via Getty Images

Empty stands during the game between Fortuna Dusseldorf and SC Paderborn on Saturday as the Bundesliga restarted. Photo: Sascha Schuermann/AFP via Getty Images

 

Uefa has a plan to finish the 2019-20 season by August, including the Champions League and Europa League campaigns, the European soccer governing body’s president Aleksander Ceferin has said.

The majority of European league seasons were suspended in March due to the Covid-19 pandemic but a few leagues have announced plans for a restart in the coming weeks.

The French and Dutch top-flight campaigns have been cancelled but the German Bundesliga restarted on Saturday and Ceferin expects at least 80 per cent of national leagues to finish their seasons.

“We have an idea but we have to wait for the executive committee of Uefa to confirm the dates. I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is as it is now, in August,” Ceferin told beIN Sports.

“As things look now, I’m sure... that we can finish the European season and this means Uefa competition.

“I think the majority of leagues will finish the season. The ones who will not, it’s their decision. But they will still have to play qualifiers if they want to participate in the European Uefa competition.”

Both the Champions League and Europa League are yet to complete their last-16 matches.

Paris St Germain, who were declared Ligue 1 champions, are looking to play their Champions League games abroad after the French government said professional sports would not be allowed to return before September.

“Paris St Germain and Lyon... will have to organise (matches) in France,” Ceferin added. “If this is not possible, (they) will have to organise it at a neutral ground.

“If you cannot play in your country, then you have to organise it at a neutral ground... I don’t see the reason why French authorities would not allow them to organise a match without spectators, but let’s see. It’s out of my power.”

Euro 2020, scheduled to be hosted in 12 cities across Europe, has been postponed until next year.

“We’ve had conversations with nine cities and everything is set,” Ceferin said. “With three cities, we have some issues. So we will discuss further. In principle, we will do it in 12 cities but if not, we are ready to do it in 10, nine or eight.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.