European football governing body Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) suspended the ongoing Champions League, Europa League, and Euro 2020 qualifying playoffs, just weeks after the organization together with other stakeholders are planning to finish all domestic and international competitions by June 30th.
The suspension of the UEFA sanctioned tournaments came after the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic are still ravaging countries in Europe with restrictions in mass gatherings including staging sporting events and travel restrictions are still implemented to prevent the further spread of the disease.
Different domestic leagues like the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A, Ligue 1 also suspend their season for the safety of the clubs and their fans.
The postponement of the UEFA sanctioned tournaments will allow domestic leagues and UEFA sanctioned tournaments to finish the season beyond June 30th. If the games resumed, likely the matches will be played behind closed doors for the safety of the players and coaches.
FIFA, the football governing body, are now also working on a plan to extend the expiring contract of players, which will expire on June 30th, so they can be allowed to play until the season of a domestic league or international tournament a club competes for ends.
UEFA already announced the Euro 2020 will be delayed by a year, cancellation of international friendlies and the finals of the Champions League, Europa League, and Women’s Champions are also postponed.
This will allow domestic leagues to use the vacant dates to be used to stage their matches, so their leagues will be finished on their target dates.
“No decision has yet been made on rearranged dates,” UEFA said in the statement, quoted in an article of ESPN about the postponement of the Champions League, Europa League, and Women’s Champions League finals.
“The working group, established last week as a result of the conference call among the stakeholders of European football, which was chaired by UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin, will analyze the options available. The group has already begun its examination of the calendar. Announcements will be made in due course,” the statement added.
The Champions League finals are supposed to be held in Ataturk Olympic Stadium on May 30th while the Europa League finals were supposed to take place at the Stadion Energa Gdansk in Gdansk, Poland on May 27th.
The Viola Park in Vienna, Austria was the venue of the finals of the Women’s Champions League with May 24th as the original date of the finals.
In the Champions League, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig, and Atalanta managed to book a slot into the quarterfinals before UEFA suspended the Champions League games.
Four Round of 16 series is not yet completed which are Manchester City vs Real Madrid; Juventus vs Lyon; FC Barcelona vs Napoli and Chelsea vs Bayern Munich.
In the Europa League, most Rounds of 16 matches are not yet finished while the series between Inter Milan and Getafe and Sevilla and Roma are not even started prior to the suspension of the games.
The quarterfinals of the UEFA Women’s Champions League was supposed to be held if the games push through with Atletico Madrid vs FC Barcelona; Lyon vs Bayern Munich; Glasgow City vs Vfl Wolfsburg and Arsenal vs Paris Saint-Germain.