Ceferin: European season needs to restart by late-June
Aleksander Ceferin, the president of Uefa, European soccer's governing body, has claimed that if top-tier competitions cannot be restarted before the end of June, then the 2019-20 season could well be lost entirely.
Ceferin (pictured) told Italian newspaper La Repubblica: "If we don't succeed in restarting (by late-June), the season will probably be lost."
Almost all European domestic leagues are currently suspended because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, while this summer’s European Championships have been postponed until 2021.
Uefa has also suspended the Champions League and Europa League club competitions.
This is the first time that Ceferin has publicly admitted that there could be a cut-off time in terms of finishing the current season.
However, he said that “there is a plan A, B and C," adding: "The three options are to start again in mid-May, in June or at the end of June. There is also the possibility of starting again at the beginning of the next season, starting the following one later.”
Ceferin said Uefa would assess “the best solution for leagues and clubs” before making any decisions, and that the body was in regular contact with all leagues across the continent, as well as with FifPro, the representative body for soccer players worldwide.
He also commented on the possibility of matches taking place behind closed doors, saying: “It’s hard for me to imagine all the matches behind closed doors, but we still don’t know whether we’ll resume, with or without spectators.
“If there was no alternative, it would be better to finish the championships.”
Last week, Andrea Agnelli, chairman of the European Club Association, which represents 246 teams, said clubs under its watch face an “existential threat” from the pandemic and the resulting postponement of matches.
In a letter to the clubs, Agnelli said that the ECA was working on strategies “to help manage club financials in this time of social and economic crisis.”