Coronavirus: UEFA wants plans for league outcomes by May 25

By Sports Desk April 28, 2020

UEFA has requested all top European leagues be in a position to communicate their plans to finish the 2019-20 by May 25.

The deadline was put forward as part of the governing body's guidelines on eligibility principles for 2020-21 UEFA club competitions.

Following a meeting of its executive committee last week, UEFA strongly recommended all leagues on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic be completed where possible.

It proposed top divisions could be seen out with a different format, or, where resumption is not feasible, national associations could decide places for next season's continental competitions "on sporting merit".

UEFA expects all leagues to have a plan in place for how they will proceed ahead of the next executive committee meeting on May 27.

The organisation's guidelines read: "National associations and/or leagues should be in a position to communicate to UEFA by May 25, 2020 the planned restart of their domestic competitions including the date of restart and the relevant competition format.

"In the event that a domestic competition is to be prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons in accordance with [conditions set out by the executive committee], UEFA would require the national association to explain by May 25, 2020 … the special circumstances justifying such premature termination and to select clubs for UEFA club competitions 2020-21 on the basis of sporting merit in the 2019-20 domestic competitions."

Bundesliga clubs have returned to training and could be back on the pitch from May 9, while Serie A teams are expected to be able to practice together the following week.

The situation remains unclear in the Premier League, LaLiga and Ligue 1.

After professional sports were banned in the Netherlands until September 1, the Eredivisie announced the cancellation of its 2019-20 season last week.

No champions were declared and there was no promotion or relegation, with European qualification determined by the table when the league was suspended.

KNVB Beker finalists Utrecht consequently missed out on a place in the Europa League qualifiers and stated they intended to legally challenge the ruling.

Related items

  • BREAKING NEWS: Man City sign Bournemouth defender Ake BREAKING NEWS: Man City sign Bournemouth defender Ake

    Manchester City have completed the signing of Nathan Ake from Bournemouth for a reported fee of £41million.

    Pep Guardiola has been in search of another centre-back since Vincent Kompany's departure last May.

    Aymeric Laporte endured an injury hit campaign in 2019-20, though the Frenchman was a regular following the restart of the Premier League season in June, while doubts remain over the futures of John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi.

    Youngster Eric Garcia put in some impressive displays towards the end of the season, but City – who have also been linked with Napoli star Kalidou Koulibaly – have now moved to bolster their defensive ranks, with Ake joining from relegated Bournemouth.

    The 25-year-old Netherlands international, who Bournemouth signed permanently from Chelsea for £20m in 2017, has penned a five-year contract at the Etihad Stadium.

    "City have been the best side in England over the course of the last decade," he told his new club's website.

    "Coming here is a dream for me. This is a top side full of world-class players. Everywhere you look in this squad there are big names with international pedigree.

    "Pep is a manager admired across the world – what he’s done in the game speaks for itself. The success he’s had is unbelievable and the style of football he plays really appeals to me.

    "I know I’m going to have to work hard to get into the side, but that’s what I’m here to do. I’ll do whatever I can to make an impact and help the team win silverware."

    After featuring in every Premier League match for the Cherries in 2017-18 and 2018-19, injury restricted Ake to 29 league appearances last season as Eddie Howe's side dropped out of the top flight.

  • Messi will retire at Barcelona in three or four years - Bartomeu Messi will retire at Barcelona in three or four years - Bartomeu

    Lionel Messi will retire as a Barcelona player in "three or four years", according to club president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

    Six-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi has a contract at Camp Nou until the end of the 2020-21 season, but Bartomeu last month said he expects the superstar forward to sign an extension.

    The 33-year-old has been linked with a return to boyhood club Newell's Old Boys before hanging up his boots.

    However, Bartomeu has no doubt Barca's all-time leading goalscorer Messi will end his career with the Catalan giants, which could happen by 2023.

    "It's not just me who says it. Messi says it himself, that he wants to finish his professional playing career at Barcelona and it's the only club for him," Bartomeu told beIN SPORTS.

    "I don't have any doubt that when he finishes his football career in three or four years that it will be here in Barcelona.

    "Messi has it very clear. He's been here since he was a kid. He knows the colours and he's a part of the club's history.

    "He's the best player in the world. Not just right now, but in the history of the game. He's at Barcelona and has made clear he wants to stay here."

    Another priority for Bartomeu is tying goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen down to a new contract, as his existing deal has just two years left on it.

    "Marc is an excellent player and person, he has always shown that as a goalkeeper," said Bartomeu.

    "With the current situation with COVID-19, he said, 'Let's hope everything is calmer to talk about it in the future.' But his future is to renew with Barca.

    "We have a goalkeeper for many years because he is young. When everything passes, we will talk with Marc to finalise his renewal."

    Despite being yet to play a game for Barca, Francisco Trincao and Pedri have been linked with exits from Camp Nou.

    Trincao is reportedly a target for Leicester City, while Bayern Munich are said to have an interest in Pedri.

    Bartomeu has no plans to sell either player as Barca prepare for the future with a new generation of talent.

    "Trincao and Pedri are not for sale," he said. "Young players are coming who will be the stars in a few years."

  • Chelsea target Havertz 'fighting' for Leverkusen and will face Rangers - Bosz Chelsea target Havertz 'fighting' for Leverkusen and will face Rangers - Bosz

    Reported Chelsea target Kai Havertz is "100 per cent still fighting" for Bayer Leverkusen and will play against Rangers in the Europa League, says head coach Peter Bosz.

    Germany attacking midfielder Havertz has long been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea thought to be keen on a deal that will see them pay £70million up front with an additional £20m in performance-based add-ons.

    The Blues have acted swiftly in the market, with Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner already on board – the latter opting not to finish RB Leipzig's Champions League campaign.

    But Havertz will be involved on Thursday when Leverkusen return to Europa League action for the second leg of their last-16 tie against Rangers at the BayArena, where the Bundesliga side will start with a 3-1 aggregate lead.

    "I will answer these questions [about Havertz] very shortly," Bosz told a pre-match news conference. 

    "Yes, he will play and yes I'm convinced he's 100 per cent still fighting for Leverkusen."

    Following the completion of the round of 16, the Europa League – which was halted in March by the coronavirus pandemic – will be concluded with a knockout-style tournament in Germany.

    But Bosz warned his side not to look further than their date with Rangers.

    "We can only win the tournament if we win against Rangers. It doesn't make any sense to dream ahead to the upcoming matches," he added.

    "I've tried to convey this to the players that they see it that way.

    "We want to progress. If I need players tomorrow who may be at risk of being suspended, they will still play. Our focus is only on progressing."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.