The bigger they are, the harder they fall.
Many competitions across all of sport have been called off or postponed in the last few weeks, and it isn’t exactly difficult to understand why. One of the biggest, the UEFA Champions League, has been suspended for a while now alongside the UEFA Europa League, with many wondering how they could possibly hope to conclude the remaining knockout fixtures in time for the start of next season.
With so much uncertainty still in the air, the following statement has been released by UEFA.
“Following today’s video conference meeting with the general secretaries of all 55 UEFA member associations and recommendations made by the working groups created on 17 March, the UEFA Executive Committee took a series of decisions.
On competition matters:
- All national team matches for men and women due to be played in June 2020 are postponed until further notice. This includes the play-off matches for UEFA EURO 2020 and qualifying matches for UEFA Women’s EURO 2021
- All other UEFA competition matches, including the centralised international friendly matches, remain postponed until further notice.
- Youth national team competitions:
(i) the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament scheduled for May 2020 is cancelled;
(ii) the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship final tournament scheduled for July 2020 is cancelled;
(iii) the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship final tournament scheduled for May 2020 is postponed until further notice (as it is a qualifying competition for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup);
(iv) the UEFA European Under-19 Championship final tournament scheduled for July 2020 is postponed until further notice (as it is a qualifying competition for the FIFA U-20 World Cup)
- The UEFA Futsal Champions League finals scheduled for April 2020 are postponed until further notice.
- 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. UEFA will set new deadlines in due course.”
The news today is that there’s no real good news, and while everyone will continue to try and find a silver lining in all of this, it certainly doesn’t seem to exist in the world of football right now.
Everyone is eagerly anticipating the return of the beautiful game, but for the time being, we’ll have to go without. When it returns there are going to be plenty of questions as to how both major European competitions are going to conclude – or if they even are going to conclude.
The idea of two mini-tournaments in Istanbul and Gdansk could work quite well, but either way, it’s not going to be an ideal setting in comparison to the stretched out version we’re used to seeing.
At the very least teams like Liverpool will be relieved to see that there’s a chance they could still be champions at the end of all this mess, despite being knocked out by Atletico Madrid.
Of course, it isn’t all trending in their direction, as it is looking increasingly likely that they could see their Premier League title hopes snatched away from them.