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Key quotes: UEFA president on European football's return to play

Find out what president Aleksander Čeferin had to say in the press conference following the announcement of the resumption of UEFA club and national competitions.

UEFA Executive Committee press conference
UEFA Executive Committee press conference

Return to play

"I am delighted that we are able to resume almost all of our competitions. Football is leading the return to a more normal life here in Europe and I want to thank all those, particularly health workers, who have taken risks and made sacrifices to give us the opportunity to start playing again.

"The whole of the football community has worked hand in hand together to arrive at the point where the game can resume, and I thank everyone from the football world and from the governments who helped us to come to the situation we are [in] today. I would also like to give a special thanks to all the federations."

Solidarity of federations

"I would also like to give a special thanks to all the federations that have been involved in the changes that have been made to the locations of the venues. When I spoke with them, they all agreed, immediately, to change the venues to adapt to the situation and they showed great solidarity. That is crucial for our work in the future."

Football's power for good

UEFA President on the power of footballers
UEFA President on the power of footballers

"I'm proud of the fact that footballers are leading some of today's most important international debates. We have seen players like Raheem Sterling, Marcelo, Jérôme Boateng, and many others make important stands over Black Lives Matter. And just yesterday we saw Marcus Rashford change government policy to stop children suffering from hunger.

"Football really can be an important vehicle for good and these examples demonstrate that."

Health and safety

"We will do everything in our possibilities to protect the health of all the participants…we hope that everything will be fine until we organise the Champions League final eight [in Portugal] or the Europa League round of 16 in Germany. For now, there is no reason to have a plan B. We are assessing the situation not week by week but day by day, and we will adapt when the time comes and if necessary."


UEFA President praises Europe's health workers
UEFA President praises Europe's health workers

"We'll be regularly assessing the situation across the continent concerning closed door matches, and we'll take stock of the positions of the various local authorities to see if and when spectators could gradually return to our matches.

"If I would answer today, then we don't think that we could have spectators at the Europa League and Champions League quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals. But things are changing rapidly. A month ago, I couldn't even answer whether we could play the competition.

"We will assess the situation at the beginning of July and then, we will see what the situation will be."

EURO 2020

"For UEFA EURO 2020, all 12 original host cities have been confirmed as venues for the final tournament which will take place in summer 2021. The match schedule was approved and confirmed as it was foreseen for this summer. Obviously, with the new dates, which are 11 June for the opening match, and 11 July for the final.

"The UEFA Executive Committee expressed its appreciation to the host associations and host cities and their authorities for their continuous support and commitment to organising the postponed EURO."