News UEFA chief confident European season will be completed by...

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UEFA chief confident European season will be completed by August

News UEFA chief confident European season will be completed by August

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said over the weekend that the current season could be lost if it is unable to re-start by the end of June, although he did not rule out extending it into the next season.

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.”

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