UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin walks past a UEFA logo sign after a press conference by the Executive Committee at UEFA headquarters, in Nyon, Switzerland on December 4, 2019. (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP)
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said Monday that leagues across Europe are ready to reactivate behind closed doors to limit the damage caused by the corona virus.
Football leagues have been banned since mid-March because of the pandemic that killed more than 100,000 people across the continent.
However, the head of European football believes that playing is an important step in returning to normal life and avoiding major financial losses for the leagues.
"I believe there are options that allow us to restart and end cup championships," said Ceferin in an interview with the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.
“We may have to go on without a spectator, but the most important thing, I think, is playing.
“It is early to say that we cannot end the season. The effects would be terrible for clubs and leagues. Better to play behind closed doors than not to play at all.
“In such difficult times, it would bring happiness and a certain sense of normalcy to people, even if the games were only to be seen on TV.
“All activities are organized so that they start again. Everyone has to find their life.
“If security measures are followed and the authorities give the green light, the training could continue like the others.
"Further approval is required for games."
Ceferin said that if the leagues returned "early enough", the Champions League and Europa League games could be played "in parallel" for the finals without time limit.
The Slovenian said he was not for the September and October season as this would have "a strong impact" on the 2020-2021 campaign.
"We can finish, but we have to respect the decisions of the authorities," he continued.
"The priority is the health of fans, players and coaches."
Regarding countries that have decided not to end the season, Ceferin said that UEFA "will review the cases".
"Such decisions were not made alone," he said.
“Football is connected. We have seen the importance of UEFA and leagues working well together. The Executive Committee will review the cases. "
He added: “Leagues are the revenue base for clubs across the country. When completed, the financial ramifications will be limited.
"UEFA, on the other hand, will lose a lot of money to postpone the Euro 2020."
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