Champions League and Europa League remain suspended indefinitely; June international matches postponed

UEFA club competitions on hold until further notice amid coronavirus pandemic; Euro 2020 play-offs plus England and Wales friendlies postponed

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Chief reporter Bryan Swanson says UEFA's members are all united in the desire to finish the current football season

UEFA has confirmed its club competitions remain suspended until further notice, while all of June's international matches have been postponed.

European football's governing body announced the news on Wednesday following a meeting with its 55 member associations to discuss strategy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The postponement of international fixtures includes Euro 2020 play-offs involving Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland, as well as qualifying matches for the Women's European Championships in 2021.

England were scheduled to have friendlies against Austria and Romania in June, while Wales were set to face the Netherlands.

Northern Ireland will play in the Euro 2020 play-offs in March
Image: June's Euro 2020 play-offs featuring Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland have been postponed

Deadlines related to the 2020-21 UEFA club competitions are also postponed, with the governing body saying it would issue further advice in due course.

After the Dutch football association (KNVB) issued a statement saying it would follow UEFA's direction to attempt to finish the season by August 3, a UEFA spokesperson told Sky Sports News: "It is impossible to make a declaration about the end of the season when we don't yet know when we can restart.

"Once we have certainty on that, we can be more definitive about when to end the season."

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UEFA have also cancelled the European U17 Championship final tournament scheduled for May 2020 and the European Women's U19 Championship finals due to take place in July this year.

Euro 2020 was due to start on June 12 1:57
Former FA executive Adrian Bevington believes UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has responded in the right way to the coronavirus outbreak

The executive committee has decided to suspend certain aspects of club licensing provisions due to the "increasing uncertainty generated by the ongoing extraordinary events".

These include the requirement to provide the preparation and assessment of clubs' future financial information.

The UEFA statement said: "The executive committee reiterated its full commitment to club licensing and financial fair play and agreed that the current exceptional circumstances necessitate some specific interventions to facilitate the work of member associations and clubs."

Nobody mentions cancelling the season

Analysis by Bryan Swanson, Chief Reporter...

UEFA's decision to postpone all national team matches in June was a formality.

Footballers cannot play games during an international crisis, and the coronavirus pandemic has not yet peaked throughout Europe.

The video conference call lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours, an hour longer than scheduled, but there was unity across all 55 member associations.

Real Madrid's Karim Benzema vies with Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus
Image: Real Madrid's Karim Benzema vies with Manchester City's Gabriel Jesus

"It is remarkable how together the football community is at the moment," said an official who was on the call.

Tellingly, not one association raised the issue of cancelling the season.

European football wants to finish the current season, even if there is a growing acceptance that the preferred deadline of June 30 is likely to be further delayed.

Various scenarios were discussed, including turning international fixtures into three-game slots, rather than the current two-game windows.

UEFA associations also discussed the feasibility of scheduling European matches - in the Champions League and Europa League - on similar dates to domestic games.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin walks past a sign with the UEFA logo after attending a press conference following a meeting of the executive committee at the UEFA headquarters, in Nyon, Switzerland on December 4, 2019. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)
Image: UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin

They are working towards anything which reduces the prospect of having to drop games.

Europe's associations will meet again later this month.

Their priority remains finishing the current season before considering when to start the next.

But only when it is safe to do so.

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