Premier League Given Deadline of May 25 for Restart Proposals by UEFA

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Premier League Given Deadline of May 25 for Restart Proposals by UEFA

European football's governing body has issued guidelines to all 55 associations after an agreement last week that qualification for next season's Champions League and Europa League must be decided on 'sporting merit' this season.

The guidance, issued by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin and UEFA general secretary Theodore Theodoridis states: "National associations and/or leagues should be in a position to communicate to UEFA by 25 May 2020 the planned restart of their domestic competitions including the date of restart and the relevant competition format."

UEFA has also asked associations, such as the Dutch FA, to "explain the special circumstances justifying such premature termination" by the same deadline, in relation to the clubs it wants to compete in Europe next season.

UEFA's Executive Committee will hold its next conference call on May 27, where it intends to reach a decision over whether this season's European competitions can be completed in August.

But UEFA's top officials will be sympathetic to any league that is unable to provide clarity by May 25, due to ongoing government uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic.

A UEFA working group has made a "strong recommendation" that domestic seasons are completed, but administrators would prefer suspended domestic competitions to restart "with a different format", rather than cancel them.

It has been agreed that associations may cancel their season only if governments prevent sporting events from taking place or 'insurmountable economic problems' risk the 'long-term financial stability' of domestic competitions and clubs.

UEFA has also asked the 12 host cities of next summer's delayed European Championship to confirm their participation by Thursday [April 30].

Earlier this month, UEFA's intention was to use the same cities but has yet to confirm schedules for matches.

Talks are ongoing with representatives of hosts Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg, led by Martin Kallen, CEO of UEFA Events.

'These are still desperately uncertain times'

How leagues plan to restart the season remains the number one priority for UEFA. They don't want seasons to have to end prematurely.

What UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has outlined in these latest guidelines is that leagues 'should be in a position to communicate the planned restart of their domestic competitions, including the date and format by May 25.'

That's the same deadline that's been given to those associations that want to end their seasons early, and in particular the Dutch FA. The reason why UEFA are so interested is because it directly impacts on their competitions - the Champions League and the Europa League next season.

The significance of the deadline is that it's two days before UEFA's next big meeting, and that's when their top executives are going to reach some decision over whether this season's Champions League and Europa League games can continue and be completed in August as they plan.

These are still desperately uncertain times, but UEFA is trying to bring clarity to its associations in what is still a very sad situation.


Source: Skysports