Coronavirus: UEFA clarifies qualification rules after Ceferin comments

By Sports Desk May 16, 2020

UEFA has clarified it is not planning to make changes to its club competitions access list for next season.

Earlier this week, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin told beIN SPORT he thought the decision to cancel the remainder of the season in Ligue 1 and 2 was "premature".

It was suggested that clubs from leagues who have taken the decision to end the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the Eredivisie and Belgian Pro League having also taken such a step, would have to take part in preliminary qualifying rounds for UEFA competitions next term.

But Europe's governing body has moved to clear up the confusion, insisting only teams who have finished in positions whereby they enter at that stage will need to do so.

A UEFA statement on Twitter read: "With regard to the way some quotes in an interview with beIN have been reported, UEFA wishes to make clear that President Ceferin said that clubs from leagues which were abandoned in this season would still need to be ready to play qualification rounds for next season according to the current access list. 

"He did not mention or hint at any change to the UEFA club competitions access list."

Speaking this week, Ceferin said he felt more time should have been taken before ending leagues.

"For us, the important thing is that we know who is the champion, who is second, who is third, and fourth," he said.

"My personal opinion is that you cancel a season super early, it's not an ideal thing because things can improve a lot and everybody can play except a few leagues.

"But if it's the decision of the government, what can the clubs do? Or the league? They cannot do anything. But for me the decision was premature. But it doesn't affect UEFA, so it's their decision."

The outbreak of COVID-19 has wreaked havoc with the calendar in European football.

This weekend, the Bundesliga will be the first of the major UEFA leagues to return to action.

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