UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has admitted that the 2019/20 season could be ‘lost’ if it’s not possible to get it restarted by the end of June.
Football across Europe has ground to a halt amid the ongoing coronavirus, with the last Premier League game being played back on March 9th.
The current plans in England would see the beautiful game return on April 30th, though it is widely expected for that date to be further put back, with cases of the COVID-19 virus still on the rise and not expected to peak in the UK for a number of weeks, while the Government have suggested that the current lockdown period could last until June.
The Premier League have previously expressed their intention to finish the current campaign, though Ceferin has seemingly set a potential deadline of ‘the end of June’ to get the action underway, otherwise, it could be scrapped altogether.
“Nobody knows when the pandemic will end,” he told Italian daily La Repubblica. “We have a plan A, B or C: to restart in mid-May, in June or at the end of June.
“If then we wouldn’t be able to do any of these, the season would probably be lost. There is also the possibility of ending this season at the start of the next, which would then be postponed, starting a little later.
“We’re in touch with the leagues, the clubs, there is a working group and we’ll see what solution is best for all. We have to wait, like any other sector.”
Playing the remaining fixtures behind closed doors has been suggested as a possibility to get the campaign completed, though Ceferin admitted that even that would be a ‘difficult’ scenario to imagine.
“It’s difficult to imagine all the games behind closed doors, but right now we don’t even know if we will resume, with or without fans,” he said.
“If there are no other alternatives, it would still be better to conclude the leagues. I can say that I’m not thinking about staging the European cup finals behind closed doors.
“In this dramatic moment, the most important thing is health, and to get out of this crisis. The interruption of football symbolises that Europe and the world have stopped.
“European football is strongly united.”