The latest reports have it that in a concerted effort to allay all fears regarding the spread of the coronavirus Covid-19, UEFA are convening next week with the primary objective of gearing up to announce the postponement of the coming summer’s European Championships by a year and also putting this season’s Champions League – both are in the midst of the knockout stages – on hold.
The rapidly-growing spread of the Covid-19 strain and the coronavirus pandemic are bringing sport to an almost complete standstill with competitions throughout Europe being suspended and pushing Europe’s governing body to invite a host of leaders from the 55 member associations for a meeting that could have far-ranging consequences, reports L’Equipe.
A statement said: “UEFA has invited representations from the 55 member associations, together with the management of the European Association of European Clubs and Championships and a representative of FIFPro (players’ association) , to attend video conference meetings on Tuesday 17 March to discuss the response of European football to this event. The debates will cover all national and European competitions, including Euro 2020.”
UEFA are hopeful of concluding both the Champions League and the Europa League and not getting in the way of this summer’s Euros due to kick off on June 12. Any plans to suspend the international tournament will have to be negotiated with FIFA who had their own plans to hold a Club World Championships next summer.
Football Leagues around the continent have already been quick to react with Serie A and La Liga postponing games for differing periods in the ardent hope of containing the spread of the pandemic.
Consequently Real Madrid’s first team have already gone into self-isolation after a member of the club’s basketball team contracted the coronavirus. This of course means their Champions League clash with Manchester City next week is now in serious doubt.
PSG registered a 2-0 win over Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday night in front of an empty stadium while Liverpool engaged Atletico Madrid in a thrilling and tense encounter at a packed Anfield.
The coronavirus pandemic is surely throwing a huge spanner into the whole global football machinery.