UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin claims the 2019-20 season “is probably lost” — unless football returns by the end of June.
He is working with authorities across Europe to find a way to complete the campaign that has been halted by the coronavirus outbreak.
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Ceferin told Italian newspaper La Repubblica leagues across Europe could “start again in mid-May, in mid-June or at the end of June”, adding: “Then, if we don’t succeed, the season is probably lost.”
The Slovenian said that if it took until August to complete the fixtures then the start of the 2020-21 campaign could be pushed back into the autumn.
But any long delay would require agreement about extending the contracts of players whose current deals are due to end on June 30, and about how the transfer window would work.
We don’t know if we will resume, with or without spectators. In this dramatic moment, the important thing is people’s health and getting out of this crisis.
Ceferin said: “It would have to work with respect to the players and the signing periods.
“We will see what the best solutions for the different leagues and clubs are.
“It’s difficult to imagine all the games being played behind closed doors.
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“But now we don’t even know if we will resume, with or without spectators.
“If there are no other alternatives, it would still be better to conclude the championships.
“In this dramatic moment, the most important thing is people’s health and getting out of this crisis.
“Of course, the interruption of football symbolises that Europe and the world has stopped.
“We don’t know when this pandemic will end, but we have a plan A, B and even C.
“We are in contact with the leagues, with the clubs, there’s a working group. We have to wait, like any other sector.”