Serie A is ready to return, with Italy's sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora having confirmed the league will be able to resume from June 20.

There has been no action in Italy's top flight since March 9 and the league is delicately poised at both ends of the table.

Juventus and Lazio are embroiled in a fascinating title race and, though they are eight points adrift in third, Inter may not consider themselves out of the running just yet due to their game in hand.

There are up to six teams in realistic danger of relegation, while Atalanta and Roma are vying for a spot in the Champions League places.

Here are the key fixtures for each remaining matchday.

 

MD28: Brescia v Genoa

If Brescia, who sit nine points adrift of safety, are to pull off an incredible escape they will need to hit the ground running when play restarts. A home match against Genoa, who are only outside the bottom three on goal difference, is a great opportunity to do just that.

MD29: Atalanta v Napoli, Parma v Hellas Verona

Atalanta and Napoli both have to play five of the other six teams in the top seven before the end of the season, so their meeting could play a big role on their momentum in the final stretch. Parma or Hellas Verona – eighth and ninth respectively – could make a late bid for European football with three points here.

MD30: Juventus v Torino, Napoli v Roma

As Juve attempt to fend off Lazio, their first big fixture comes in the form of the Turin derby on matchday 30. This round of games also sees Champions League-chasing Napoli and Roma go head-to-head at the San Paolo.

MD32: Juventus v Atalanta, Napoli v Milan

Another huge match in Juve's title defence comes against Atalanta, who by this stage will be hoping their Champions League bid is still on. Gennaro Gattuso, meanwhile, will face his former club Milan, who will be looking to cement their place in the European qualification spots.

MD34: Juventus v Lazio

There will be only one place to be on matchday 34, as the two title contenders go head to head. With just four fixtures remaining afterwards, it could be the match that settles the title race.

MD35: Lecce v Brescia, Sampdoria v Genoa

The battle for top-flight survival could take some significant turns in this round of matches. The hopes of Lecce and Brescia, the latter of whom face fellow strugglers SPAL the matchday prior, could hinge on this match, while the Derby della Lanterna will take on greater significance if Samp and Genoa remain in precarious positions by this point.

MD37: Inter v Napoli

The success of Inter's season could well centre on a pair of tricky games to end the campaign. If they are able to mount a late charge for Scudetto glory they will certainly have to work hard to see it through, but if it goes the other way they could end up clinching onto a space in the top four.

MD38: Juventus v Roma, Napoli v Lazio, Atalanta v Inter

As fate would have it, the current top six all play each other on the final day of the season and plenty of drama will surely be on offer. The title, Champions League places and Europa League spots could all be decided on an incredible final day.

Manchester United have urged supporters to stay away from any stadiums that stage their games over the rest of the season.

If English football gets the go-ahead to resume its coronavirus-disrupted 2019-20 campaign, all fixtures appear certain to be staged behind closed doors.

United on Tuesday confirmed season ticket holders would be reimbursed for the games they will be forced to miss.

The club wrote to supporters to outline the refund pledge, stressing the importance of fans not gathering outside grounds when matches are taking place.

Season ticket holders were told: "We share your disappointment that you will not be able to watch United in person from within the stadium, but we would encourage you to give your continued loyal support from the comfort and safety of your home."

The message added: "We also ask for your co-operation not to travel to any stadiums at which we are playing on matchdays.

"By supporting from home and following government guidance, you will be playing your part to keep your friends, your family and all United fans safe."

The club described that as a "united effort" to protect the community.

United had four Premier League games remaining at Old Trafford when the season was suspended in March, with a Europa League match against LASK also due to be played at the stadium.

It has yet to be determined whether the fixtures will be able to go ahead, or whether they would be played in Manchester or at neutral venues.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin expects the 2019-20 season to be concluded by August, including the Champions League and Europa League campaigns.

The majority of domestic leagues in Europe ground to a halt in March due to the outbreak of COVID-19, while UEFA's club competitions were also impacted.

Four ties are still active in the last 16 of the Champions League, while all eight in the Europa League at the same stage have yet to reach a conclusion. 

The Bundesliga became the first of the major domestic top flights in Europe to resume on Saturday, while the Premier League, Serie A and LaLiga have all signalled their intent to return behind closed doors.

Leagues in France, the Netherlands and Belgium have all cancelled the remainder of their respective campaigns, but Ceferin told beIN SPORTS he expects 80 per cent to reach a conclusion.

"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 said.

"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."

The matter is further complicated by the fact Ligue 1 still has representation in the Champions League in the form of Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon.

With the French government having put a ban on professional sports until September it leaves both clubs facing a dilemma about where to host matches.

Ceferin added: "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."

Another issue UEFA is facing is the hosting of matches for the rescheduled Euro 2020 next year, which is due to take place across 12 different locations.

Ceferin said nine cities have plans set in stone but issues remain with a further three.

"We've had conversations with nine cities and everything is set," he 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."

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.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been key to most of the improvements that have been made at Manchester United since Jose Mourinho left, according to Luke Shaw.

Solskjaer was brought in as Mourinho's replacement on a temporary basis in December 2018, but after inspiring a significant upturn in form, he was given a full-time contract in March.

Performances and results dipped dramatically from then until the end of last season and issues seemed to remain at the start of 2019-20, but United had hit their best run of form since Solskjaer's appointment before the coronavirus pandemic led to a suspension in March.

United were unbeaten in 11 matches across all competitions, a run that included two wins over Manchester City, a 2-0 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and back-to-back 5-0 triumphs in the Europa League against Club Brugge and LASK.

Shaw – who has been at Old Trafford since 2014 – highlighted the unity that has developed in the squad, suggesting it has been even more evident during the lockdown.

"It's great to see everyone helping each other out," he said in a diary entry on United's official website. "Carras [Michael Carrick, first-team coach] was on the group call the other day, praising us for looking after ourselves because everybody looks the same [in terms of physical assessments] as before lockdown, so he's happy.

"Everyone's working hard, we're pushing each other with our runs and helping each other out. Hopefully everyone can be back working together at the training ground soon.

"There really is a great feel about this group of lads now, and that has been the case for a while. I've seen a lot of changes during my time at United and I have to say that Ole has been responsible for a large amount of the improvements around the place.

"When he came in, he knew what was needed, what had to change to get things up and running again. He's signed people who aren't just good players, but also really good lads as well. They've integrated in the squad really well and brought a bit more energy and togetherness in the group."

Harry Maguire has been credited with having a particularly impressive impact off the pitch, with the pre-season signing from Leicester City already becoming club captain following Ashley Young's move to Inter in January.

Shaw feels Maguire's efforts have been focused on creating a better mentality in the group, with players agreeing to a code of conduct that sees them accept a fine if they miss bonding activities.

"He [Maguire] is really trying to make sure we get more things done together as a group going forward," Shaw continued. "Young was brilliant, really tried his hardest, but sometimes it was difficult to get things done as a group.

"Now we've made a pact that whenever a team bonding thing happens, we all have to do it or we get fined. It's great for the team to be together and do things together.

"In some groups, sometimes, there are people who just don't get on, which is natural when you've got big groups, but I honestly believe that in our squad everyone gets on really well.

"We all love each other, we all want to push each other to be the best and, of course, to get United as a club back to where it needs to be."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has Manchester United "on their way back" and their future appears very encouraging, according to former Red Devils and Liverpool striker Michael Owen.

Solskjaer had become a much-maligned figure at Old Trafford earlier this season, with the Norwegian seemingly unable to inspire much of an improvement in their fortunes despite significant investment in the squad in pre-season.

The signings of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, although effective in their own right, had been unable to help United bridge the gap to the top of the table, with Liverpool and Manchester City far ahead and Solskjaer's men in a struggle just to finish fourth.

But prior to the suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic, United had been on their best run of form across all competitions since Solskjaer's full-time appointment last March, enjoying an 11-match unbeaten run.

That included two wins over City, a 2-0 defeat of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and back-to-back 5-0 triumphs in the Europa League against Club Brugge and LASK, and Owen feels Solskjaer had them looking closer to the United of more successful eras.

"I think with this current stop [for coronavirus], Manchester United might be the one team that wanted to continue playing, they were starting to get into a real good run of form," Owen told ESPN.

"[Bruno] Fernandes had signed, he is a fantastic signing; [Paul] Pogba will be back soon; this break has been good for [Marcus] Rashford as well, he'll be back fit.

"All of a sudden, you're looking at Manchester United - and I haven't been able to say this for years - but you're looking at that squad thinking, 'wow, they're on their way back'.

"They spent lots of money on their defence, they've still got one of the best goalkeepers in the world – it's starting to look very promising for Manchester United. I haven't been able to say that for a long time."

Owen applauded United for appearing to turn their fortunes around, as he acknowledged he had reservations over Solskjaer earlier in the season.

"I must admit, right at the start [of the season] you'd have to question [hiring Solskjaer], because they were looking like there was no improvement," he added.

"But just in the last month or two before the season stopped, I was starting to think he was doing the right thing and building a certain type of team that they didn't have in the last few years."

Should the 2019-20 season be able to resume, United look destined to reach the Europa League quarter-finals, they are already into the last eight of the FA Cup and find themselves just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League.

David de Gea described his almost decade-long attachment to Manchester United as a "dream" and plans to remain at Old Trafford for a long time.

De Gea, 29, joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 for a reported £19million, a British record fee for a goalkeeper at the time.

After an initially tricky settling-in period, De Gea established himself as an indispensable part of the team and one of the world's best at his position.

A move to Real Madrid fell through in August 2015, but the Spaniard swiftly signed a new contract after that and then agreed an extension last September, keeping him at the club until 2023.

But De Gea's form over the past few years has not been as consistent as some might expect, giving rise to suggestions from a section of supporters that United might be better off giving Dean Henderson – on loan at Sheffield United – a chance next season.

De Gea does not seem concerned about his future with the club, however.

"Just to be a part of this club is amazing. So, imagine, [nearly] 10 years, it's like a dream," De Gea said in a United Hangout.

"It's great to play games with this club, so I hope I can be here more years, many years."

Before European football came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, United had hit their best run of form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed manager on a full-time basis last March.

A 6-0 thrashing of Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup at the end of January began an 11-match unbeaten run across all competitions, including a pair of wins over Manchester City, an away triumph at Chelsea and 5-0 Europa League wins against Club Brugge and LASK.

Bruno Fernandes' arrival has made a telling difference and De Gea acknowledged the Portugal midfielder's influence, also pointing out United still have key players in Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba to return from injury when they return to action.

"I think the whole team improved a lot," De Gea added of United, who sit just three points adrift of the top four. "We were in a good moment. I think we were in very good, top form.

"We didn't concede many goals, and of course with Bruno he brings a lot of quality. He's a clever player, a top midfielder, the team improves with him and it was a pity that everything stopped because we were in a good moment.

"But hopefully with some players that were injured will be fit when it all starts again, so it will be a good challenge for everyone."

UEFA called on leagues across Europe to complete their seasons where possible, as it presented emergency alternative plans on Thursday.

European football's governing body says national associations and leagues should "explore all possible options" to finish the domestic competitions which remain unresolved.

However, it stressed there are back-up plans in case circumstances prevent leagues and cups being played to a finish.

UEFA proposed competitions starting "with a different format", or, where no resumption is possible, for national associations to decide places for next season's European competitions "on sporting merit".

UEFA is to produce guidelines outlining qualification criteria for its competitions from domestic leagues that cannot be completed but once again recommended they should be finished if possible.

The coronavirus continues to wreak havoc with the footballing schedule, with the 2019-20 season suspended indefinitely across the majority of Europe, which resulted in Euro 2020 being pushed back by a year.

Both the Champions League and Europa League finals were postponed in March after it became apparent hosting them on their original dates was not feasible.

As yet there is no concrete date set for the resumption of a suspended European league, while UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin conceded the campaign would likely be lost if seasons cannot resume by the end of June.

In a video conference with its 55 member nations on Tuesday, UEFA said any decisions taken will be announced after the executive committee convenes on Thursday.

A statement read: "UEFA met its 55 member associations via video conference and presented an update of the options being looked into by the two working groups that were created mid-March. 

"A variety of calendar options were presented covering both national team and club competition matches.

"The funding of national associations through UEFA's HatTrick programme was also discussed with UEFA reiterating its commitment to meeting the payments to member associations as planned.

"There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top divisions and cup competitions, but some special cases will be heard once guidelines concerning participation to European competitions - in case of a cancelled league - have been developed."

Copenhagen forward Michael Santos has been banned for three European matches following a clash with a police officer, UEFA has confirmed.

Santos collided with an officer while celebrating the second goal in his side's Europa League victory at Celtic in February.

Copenhagen confirmed both Santos and one of their club stewards had been charged by Scottish police following the match.

And UEFA has now suspended the player for "assaulting another person present at the match".

Copenhagen have issued a response, however, as they consider an appeal.

A statement read: "Copenhagen believe the penalty is too harsh when all circumstances from the clash are taken into account.

"Therefore we have now asked UEFA for the written statement of the sanction in order to assess whether or not the order should be appealed."

Liverpool have undoubtedly enjoyed some famous European nights at Anfield down the years.

A tradition that began under the great Bill Shankly has continued through into the reign of the current boss, Jurgen Klopp. Opposition fans may poke fun at any talk concerning a unique atmosphere at the ground, but there is something special about the place when the floodlights are switched on.

"I'm not a dreamer but I’m a romantic. I love the stories and Anfield is one of the best places in the football world," the German said at his first press conference on Merseyside, making it clear he understood how there really is no place like home for the Reds.

His European journey with Liverpool started out with a forgettable 1-1 draw against Rubin Kazan way back in October 2015, but there have been far more memorable occasions since then – starting with a clash against Klopp’s former employers...

 

LIVERPOOL 4-3 BORUSSIA DORTMUND (APRIL 2016)

Klopp restricted Dortmund in the first leg, holding them to a 1-1 draw on his old stomping ground. However, the Bundesliga club were far more fluent in the return, striking twice inside the opening nine minutes through Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Divock Origi cut the deficit soon after half-time, but a well-taken Marco Reus goal left Liverpool needing to score three more with the clock against them.

Philippe Coutinho got the first of them, firing in a low shot, and the scores were level in the game when Mamadou Sakho headed home. The turnaround was completed by Liverpool’s other centre-back, Dejan Lovren the unlikely hero as he climbed to nod in James Milner’s hung-up cross to the back post, sealing a stunning 4-3 aggregate triumph.

A delighted Klopp admitted it was "pretty cool to watch" from the touchline, though he was probably less enthused about another comeback in the final later that year, the Reds going down 3-1 to Europa League specialists Sevilla having taken the lead in Basel.

LIVERPOOL 3-0 MANCHESTER CITY (APRIL 2018)

Manchester City were outstanding in the 2017-18 season, winning the Premier League at a canter as they reached 100 points. Yet Klopp’s Liverpool had their number during the campaign, beating them in three of their four meetings.

They were victorious in both legs of an all-English tie in the Champions League, starting with a 3-0 result at home. As had been the case in a 4-3 league triumph earlier the same year, Liverpool stunned their opponents with three quick goals, Mohamed Salah's opener followed by efforts from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mane in a red-hot nine-minute spell.

City would dominate possession but were unable to find a response and while they launched an onslaught in the first half at the Etihad Stadium, Liverpool rode their luck to come through the storm, allowing them to pick off opponents who ran out of steam to record a 2-1 win.

LIVERPOOL 5-2 ROMA (APRIL 2018)

Roma overwhelmed Barcelona in the Italian capital to reach the semi-finals, but the tables were turned on the Serie A side when they travelled to the north west of England.

The focus was on an ex now in a new relationship, but this also offered a glimpse at a future love. Salah left Roma to join Liverpool, yet the Egyptian did not spare his old employers in the first leg, scoring twice (though he did not celebrate). Roberto Firmino bagged a brace, while Mane was also on target, all three forwards getting the better of future team-mate Alisson in Roma's goal.

Edin Dzeko and Diego Perotti scored late on - the latter converting a penalty - to give Roma a glimmer of hope, but Liverpool were able to mind the gap in Italy to make it through to the final.

LIVERPOOL 3-2 PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN (SEPTEMBER 2018)

Having missed out on the trophy to Real Madrid at the end of the previous season, Liverpool’s journey to a second successive final appearance began with a home fixture against Paris Saint-Germain, the two heavyweights in Group C slugging it out in an eventful tussle.

Daniel Sturridge – starting in place of the half-fit Firmino – headed in the opener before Milner converted from the spot. PSG countered with a goal from Thomas Meunier, while the otherwise quiet Kylian Mbappe appeared to catch the Reds cold when he equalised with nine minutes remaining.

But Thomas Tuchel – the boss of PSG who had also been in charge of Dortmund back in 2016 – suffered another late KO at Anfield, Firmino coming off the bench to grab the winner from a tight angle. A doubt for the game due to an eye injury, the Brazilian celebrated landing the telling blow by mimicking wearing a patch.

LIVERPOOL 4-0 BARCELONA (MAY 2019)

The mother of all comebacks. Liverpool suffered against Lionel Messi in the first leg, the peerless Argentine's late brace helping the LaLiga giants to a 3-0 triumph at Camp Nou. Outsmarted rather than outplayed on Spanish soil, Klopp's squad headed home knowing they needed a miracle to reach the final again.

They duly produced one in front of their own fans, unlikely hero Origi starting and finishing the scoring. In between the Belgian's double, substitute Georginio Wijnaldum scored twice in the space of 122 seconds as Barca fell apart, even the magical Messi unable to tun the tide.

Liverpool were 3-0 up inside an hour but had to wait until 11 minutes from time for the goal that sent them through. Trent Alexander-Arnold caught the visitors sleeping at a corner and his quickly taken delivery was turned home by Origi, who backed up his brace with the clincher in a 2-0 victory over Tottenham that secured the trophy.

April 14 is a date defined by the unexpected in the world of sport.

From a unique edition of one of rugby's most famous competitions, to an Anfield turnaround that defied belief, sporting events on this date have produced their fair share of surprises.

It is also a date that will be forever etched in the memory of arguably the greatest golfer of all time.

Here we look back at some of the best sporting moments to take place on April 14.

1973: France failure ensures five-way tie

April 14, 1973 was the day on which an anomaly in the long and storied history of the Five and Six Nations was secured.

A tournament that saw all five teams struggle for consistency came to a close in Dublin. France had the championship in their sights after seeing off defending champions Wales in their previous encounter.

That victory left them as the only team capable of winning the title outright. Triumph at Lansdowne Road was needed to seal it but, in extremely windy conditions, inaccuracy from the tee cost them.

France missed three penalties and a conversion as Ireland claimed a 6-4 win that ensured every team finished on four points. The lack of a tiebreaker meant there could be no outright winner, with all five teams claiming a share of the championship. Had there been a points difference tiebreaker, Wales would have again prevailed.

2016: Klopp knocks out Dortmund in famous Liverpool comeback

Six months on from taking over at Liverpool, Klopp was reunited with the club where he made his name in the Europa League quarter-finals.

The last-eight tie with Borussia Dortmund was finely poised after a 1-1 draw at Signal Iduna Park.

It was Dortmund that appeared poised to progress to the semi-finals, though, as Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave them a 2-0 lead.

Divock Origi pulled one back for Liverpool three minutes into the second half but Marco Reus looked to have put the tie beyond doubt, his effort leaving the Reds needing three goals to progress.

However, a rasping low drive from Philippe Coutinho gave Anfield hope and Mamadou Sakho's close-range header in the 77th minute set the stage for a grandstand finish. Dejan Lovren proved the unlikely hero as he towered to turn home James Milner's cross in the 91st minute.

Liverpool went on to defeat Villarreal in the semi-finals but were denied in the showpiece in Basel as Sevilla claimed a 3-1 win.

2019: Tiger caps comeback with remarkable Masters win

One of sport's greatest comeback stories was completed on this day at Augusta last year.

Most had doubted whether Tiger Woods would ever recapture the form that saw him win 14 majors after his well-documented back problems.

Yet, the closest challenger to Jack Nicklaus' major record of 18 inched one closer with the kind of performance many considered consigned to history to win his fifth green jacket.

Woods began the final day two strokes behind Francesco Molinari, but a captivating final day tilted firmly in his favour on the 15th.

Molinari sent his tee shot into the trees and then found the water with a misplaced lay-up, eventually making double bogey.

Woods, by contrast, birdied from two feet to take the outright lead, with a sensational tee shot at 16 leaving him a short putt for a two-stroke advantage.

He made par at 17 to ensure a bogey would be enough on the last, and there would be no last-gasp slip-up, Woods standing on the 18th green with his arms aloft in celebration of a triumph few thought possible.

UEFA has denied president Aleksander Ceferin set a deadline of August 3 for the Champions League and Europa League finals to be completed.

Ceferin was widely reported as telling German broadcaster ZDF on Saturday that the competitions, which have been suspended indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic, needed to be completed by that date.

With the majority of European leagues on hiatus, UEFA postponed Euro 2020 and all its internationals in June to help clubs complete the 2019-20 campaign.

However, with football unlikely to be able to return imminently, the chances of clubs delivering on a pledge to complete their seasons by June 30 remains a source of contention.

UEFA has now stated quotes attributed to Ceferin were false and the possibility of games being played in July and August is under consideration if required.

The statement read: "It has been reported that UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin, told ZDF in Germany that the UEFA Champions League must finish by August 3. This is not true.

"The president was very clear not to set exact dates for the end of the season. 

"UEFA is currently analysing all options to complete domestic and European seasons with the European Club Association and the European Leagues in the working group set up on March 17. The primary priority of all the members of the working group is to preserve public health. 

"Following on from that, it is to find calendar solutions to complete all competitions. Options are currently being studied to play matches in July and in August if needed, depending on restart dates and the permission of national authorities."

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin confirmed August 3 as the latest possible date for the 2019-20 Champions League final.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to a prolonged hiatus for sport in almost every country, with the European football system impacted on an unprecedented scale.

Many of the top leagues have been suspended indefinitely and the pause forced UEFA to postpone Euro 2020 by 12 months, buying the club season a little more time.

The target is still for the 2019-20 campaign to be concluded by the end of June, but many doubt that is realistic, giving rise to debates about what will happen if the pandemic fails to ease.

Ceferin has at least attempted to offer clarity for the Champions League and Europa League campaigns, with cancellation seemingly on the cards if the competitions cannot be concluded by the start of August.

The UEFA president also indicated potential alterations to the knockout stages are under consideration.

"It must finish by August 3, both the Champions League and Europa League," Ceferin told German broadcaster ZDF.

"It is an extraordinary situation we are in, so we are flexible on dates and kick-off times. If the crisis eases earlier, then we can start sooner.

"We could play with the current system, or in one-off matches played on neutral turf. For now, it's just an option to play with a final eight or final four.

"The only wrong decision we could make now would be to play in a way that puts the health and safety of players, fans and referees at risk.

"However, if we are in secure conditions, then I don't see the problem."

UEFA has postponed all national team matches scheduled to be played under its auspices in June, including the play-offs for the delayed Euro 2020 finals.

European football's governing body held a video conference on Wednesday with representatives from all 55 member associations.

Those involved considered recommendations made by the working groups UEFA set up last month to address the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After that meeting on March 17, it was confirmed Euro 2020 would be moved to June and July of next year, although play-off games were still slated to take place during the international break at the scheduled end of the 2019-20 season.

However, all UEFA matches are now postponed until further notice, while deadlines relating to the 2020-21 campaign for the organisation's club competitions are similarly on hold, with the prospect of football's shutdown going beyond the June 30 date where player contracts typically expire alluded to as a potential complication.

"The deadlines related to all 2020-21 UEFA club competitions are postponed until further notice, in particular as regards the admission process and the registration of players," a press release read. “UEFA will set new deadlines in due course."

At the initial meeting, UEFA made a commitment to try and complete all European and domestic club competitions by the end of June – a prospect that appears increasingly fanciful as leagues across the continent remain suspended with little sign of a resumption.

UEFA has also stated it will relax Financial Fair Play and club licensing measures related to its 2020-21 competitions as clubs deal with unprecedented times.

"The Executive Committee reiterated its full commitment to club licensing and Financial Fair Play and agreed that the current exceptional circumstances necessitate some specific interventions to facilitate the work of member associations and clubs," the statement read.

"It supports the proposal to give member associations more time to complete the club licensing process, until the admission process for next season’s UEFA club competitions has been redefined.

"As a result of the increasing uncertainty generated by the ongoing extraordinary events, the executive committee also decided to suspend the club licensing provisions that relate to the preparation and assessment of clubs' future financial information. This decision applies exclusively for participation in the 2020-21 UEFA club competitions."

Additionally, UEFA cancelled its European Under-17 Championship and European Women's Under-19 Championship, scheduled for May and July respectively.

The corresponding European Under-19 Championship and European Women's Under-17 Championship are postponed with the aim of rearranging, given they double up as qualifying competitions for FIFA's U-20 World Cup and U-17 Women's World Cup.

Next month's UEFA Futsal Championship League finals have also been postponed until further notice.

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