Uefa on Tuesday gave a “strong recommendation” to European football federations to attempt to finish the current season once play is able to resume after the stoppage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The sport has been brought to a standstill by the outbreak with the Euro 2020 postponed until next year, and national leagues and continental club competitions too on hold.
Uefa, European soccer’s governing body, has made it clear that it wants its member-associations to complete their domestic seasons rather than abandon them. It also hopes to finish the Champions League and Europa League.
All 55 member-associations took part in a video conference with Uefa officials on Tuesday and while no decisions on future planning are expected until Thursday’s Executive Committee meeting, there was no sign of a switch from the policy to aim to finish the current season.
However, there was a softening in tone over eventual cases where league seasons may be cancelled — an outcome Uefa had been quick to oppose.
“There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top division and Cup competitions, but some special cases will be heard once guidelines concerning participation to European competitions — in case of a cancelled league — have been developed,” Uefa said in a statement.
The governing body had previously said, in response to Belgium’s move to end their championship, that cutting seasons short “should really be the last resort”.
Lockdowns in the UK, France, Spain and Italy will continue into May. Germany and other parts of Europe are taking tentative steps to ease measures. German clubs are desperate for the season to be finished by June 30 to secure an instalment of TV money, reportedly worth around 300 million euros ($326 million). That is a central concern for Europe’s other leading leagues.
Italy’s 20 Serie A teams have buried their differences and unanimously agreed that they should try and complete the 2019-20 season. Previously, several clubs, including Sampdoria and Torino, had opposed carrying on while Brescia went further, saying they would prefer to forfeit matches.