UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has discussed the Coronavirus emergency and its effect on football in an interview in today’s paper edition of the Rome based newspaper la Repubblica.
“At this dramatic moment the most important thing is health, getting out of this crisis. Nobody knows when the pandemic will end. We have plan A, B or C and we are in contact with the leagues, with the clubs, there is a working group.”
The 52-year-old Slovenian then discussed how UEFA are working with FIFA to attempt to reach a common solution.
“We have to wait, like every other sector. I also talked to Gianni Infantino, we are in solidarity. The communication is continuous. It’s very important to forget personal interests and disagreements.”
The UEFA president admitted that they currently do not know when football will restart, considering the current conditions of the Coronavirus emergency.
“Not knowing when the pandemic will end, we can’t have a definitive plan. Start again in mid-May, in June or even at the end of June. Then, if we don’t succeed, the season is probably lost.”
Ceferin discussed another idea to finish the season and what could happen with domestic and continental cups.
“There is also the proposal to finish this season at the beginning of the next one, which would start a little later. We will see the best solution for leagues and clubs. If the clubs start playing, we can finish the cups too. You can use the same dates. For example, Tuesday Milan-Inter and also, I don’t know, Barcelona v Juventus. The same day. It’s a special and unique situation.”
The UEFA president highlighted how the organisation can’t help contract disputes between players and clubs due to the emergency.
“We don’t have jurisdiction over contracts between players and clubs. If the season were to start again, a compromise would be needed, that the contracts expire later and that the period for transfers would be pushed back.”
He touched on whether the remaining games of the season would be played behind closed doors.
“It’s hard for me to imagine all the games behind closed doors, but now we don’t know if we’ll start again, with or without the public. If there was no alternative, it would be better to finish the leagues anyway. I can say that I don’t think about the finals of the European cups behind closed doors.”
Finally, Ceferin spoke about Financial Fair Play.
“The crisis also involves the clubs. We have already postponed some requirements from the end of March to the end of April. It depends on how the situation will develop. Nothing will be the same after this terrible year in the whole world. There are more options open on FFP.”
The Coronavirus emergency has forced Europe to go mostly into lockdown as countries attempt to stop the spread of the contagion. Italy is the worst affected country in Europe and has been in lockdown for weeks in an attempt to help the issue.
Serie A, like most other leagues across the continent, has been postponed until an undetermined date due to the virus. UEFA were then forced to postpone this summer’s European Championship to next summer to try to help the leagues finish on time.