UEFA boss says fate of European football tournaments “is in the hands of national governments”

IN THE BALANCE: If restrictions remain in place, games will not be able to be played before deadline.

UEFA says the fate of this season’s European football competitions is in the hands of national governments, and admits games played behind closed doors is perferrable to abandoning tournaments.

President Aleksander Ceferin said the Champions League must be played out by August 3, but if Covid-19 restrictions are still in place, this will be impossible.

There is currently a working group between UEFA, leagues and clubs trying to find a way to see the season out without having to abandon games.

In an interview with German television channel ZDF, Ceferin said: “If the authorities don’t allow us to play, we can’t do it. We depend on national governments.”


And he added that his preferred way forward is to complete the remaining half of both the Champions and Europa League tournaments behind closed doors.

“It is better behind closed doors with television, this is what football fans want.

“The only wrong decision would be to play in a way that puts the health of players, fans, referees at risk… But if it’s safe and the health is not in danger I don’t see a problem.

“Sport brings energy, we need sport. People are nervous and anxious. Football is a serious industry, it matters to people. The superstars right now are the doctors and nurses,” he said.

Last week, 20 Premier League clubs took part in a video conference and agreed the season will restart ‘when it is safe to do so.’

It’s in their interest with TV deals worth £750 million on the table. They will have to pay back the broadcast money if the games are not completed.



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