UEFA, the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPRO Europe sign a resolution on how European football should react to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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1. UEFA convened today an urgent meeting via videoconference with representatives of the European Club Association (“ECA”), European Leagues (“EL”) and FIFPRO Europe (altogether referred to as “the Parties”) to reflect, as a group, on the unique set of circumstances European football is facing as a result of the ongoing global health crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss sensible solutions for the European football family to cope with this unsettling, challenging and unprecedented situation.
2. As representatives of the major professional football organisations at European level, the Parties consider it is their duty to take a responsible lead in developing a united European approach in response to the global pandemic which has led to the suspension of the vast majority of competitions on the continent.
3. With this in mind, and while reiterating their fundamental commitment to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of players, clubs, supporters, officials, staff and the broader football community, the Parties discussed and unanimously agreed on the principles of a contingency plan regarding the 2019-20 sporting season.
4. These principles include the following:
• National team competitions:
- The play-off qualifying matches of the UEFA EURO 2020 scheduled to be played in March 2020 will be postponed until the international windows of June 2020, subject to a review of the situation.
- The final tournament of the UEFA EURO 2020, which was set to take place from 12 June to 12 July 2020, will be postponed to 11 June to 11 July 2021. This will help to ensure that the UEFA EURO 2020 can be a great celebration of football for all the supporters across the continent.
- European qualifiers matchdays 3 and 4 currently scheduled to take place in June 2021 will be re-scheduled.
- The UEFA Nations League Finals, the final tournament of the UEFA U21 EURO and the UEFA Women’s EURO all scheduled between June and July 2021 will be re-scheduled accordingly.
- Clubs will release players to national teams for all rescheduled tournaments.
• Club competitions:
- A commitment to complete all domestic and European club competitions by the end of the current sporting season, i.e. 30 June 2020 at the latest, should the situation improve and resuming playing be appropriate and prudent enough.
- Possible limitations or drops of current exclusive calendar slots, potentially resulting in the scheduling of domestic league matches in mid-week and scheduling of UEFA club competitions matches on weekends.
- Possible adaptations of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds in case of late completion of the 2019/20 sporting season, i.e. after 30 June 2020.
• Working groups:
- A working group composed of representatives from UEFA, leagues and clubs will be immediately established to examine relevant calendar matters and devise solutions allowing for the resumption and/or conclusion of the current season in a coherent manner.
- A second working group composed of representatives from UEFA, leagues, clubs and players will be set-up at a later stage to assess the economic, financial and regulatory impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and propose measures to help mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.
5. The Parties are convinced that this contingency plan is the best course of action at this moment in time. It takes into consideration the advice of international health experts as well as the restrictive orders issued by national governments and local authorities. It also allows for flexibility, as events warrant, with the hope of resuming play in front of football fans everywhere across the European territory as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that the current sporting season can be completed.
6. The Parties will continue to closely monitor the situation on a daily basis and, in the meantime, encourage the broader football community to take all reasonable precautions.
7. Finally, the Parties wish to stress that their thoughts are with all individuals and communities that have been impacted by the COVID-19.
Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA President
Andrea Agnelli ECA, Chairman
Lars-Christer Olsson, EL President
Bobby Barnes, FIFPRO Europe President
The resolution, signed by the relevant parties can be viewed here.