Coronavirus: UEFA to produce guidelines for associations who want to finish season early

Formal proposals from UEFA to associations by mid-May at the latest; Talks included a reference to 'special cases' should some leagues want to finish their season early

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Bryan Swanson explains why UEFA are producing new guidelines for member associations who want to end their seasons early, due to the coronavirus pandemic

UEFA will produce guidelines for associations that want to end their seasons early but has strongly recommended that Europe's top leagues finish their season.

All 55 associations received an update from a UEFA working group during a conference call on Tuesday.

European football's most senior officials held further talks about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic as players in some countries, including Germany, resumed training.

The group, which assesses the fixture calendar, gave a strong recommendation to finish domestic seasons and it will make formal proposals to associations by mid-May at the latest.

Socially distanced training at Schalke
Image: Teams in Germany's Bundesliga have returned to group training but, like Schalke, are still practising social distancing

Talks included a reference to 'special cases' should some leagues want to finish their season early.

UEFA will produce guidelines to determine qualifiers for UEFA competitions in those leagues that cannot finish the season.

Sky Sports News has been told no league which has qualification to the Champions League and Europa League asked UEFA for permission to end their season early during Tuesday lunchtime's call

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Cancelling leagues without UEFA's approval could see clubs prevented from qualifying for European competitions, as they are determined by final positions in domestic standings.

Aleksander Ceferin
Image: UEFA's busy week will continue with a meeting of the Executive Committee on Thursday

UEFA's executive committee will meet on Thursday to discuss any specific requests from associations.

Associations also discussed receiving special funds, to assist during the pandemic, but details have yet to be disclosed.

Earlier this month, European leagues were urged not to "abandon" their seasons, after administrators revealed they were working towards plans to resume games from July.

UEFA, the European Club Association [ECA] and European Leagues [EL] called on member associations to "walk united" as they tackle growing issues from the coronavirus pandemic.

Europa League flag
Image: The Europa League final could be moved to a late August date

UEFA are also considering proposals which would see the Champions League final being played three months later than scheduled at the end of August.

The Champions League final was due to take place at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul on May 30. Under one of the new proposals, the final would be moved to Saturday August 29 at the same venue.

The Europa League final which was due to be played in Gdansk on May 27 could now be played on Wednesday August 26.

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