English football’s governing bodies have struggled to say for the past few weeks that their main goal has been to ensure that all elite teams end their season with 38 games played.
All public statements have, of course, been made under the warning that football can only come back when it is medically safe in the midst of a global pandemic.
The Premier League’s final statement on the issue came on April 17, where they stated that the # 1 goal was to see the division reach a fair and appropriate conclusion – whenever it was authorized to do so. do, of course.
“It remains our goal to finish the 2019/20 season but at this point all dates are tentative as the impact of COVID-19 grows,” said the statement.
“The health and well-being of players, coaches, managers, club staff and supporters is our priority and the League will only restart when medical advice allows. “
Since their last meeting, the Premier League has seen its position supported by its European counterparts, with UEFA echoing the main goal of English football in recent days.
Earlier this week, they said: “It has been strongly recommended to complete the national first division and cup competitions, but some special cases will be heard once the guidelines for participation in European competitions – if canceled of a league – will have been developed. “
Another meeting on Thursday revealed a similar sentiment where it was explained that qualification for European competitions should be decided on a new system of “sports merit”.
“Following the representations made by the football authorities in Belgium and Scotland, the Committee recognizes the problems raised and has approved the Guidelines on the principles of eligibility for UEFA club competitions 2020/21”, says the report .
“The Guidelines reflect the principle that admission to UEFA club competitions is always based on sporting merit.
“Therefore, UEFA urges national associations and leagues to explore all possible options for playing all high-level national competitions giving access to the UEFA club competitions until their natural conclusion. “
“The ideal scenario, if the pandemic situation allows, is to end the currently suspended national competitions, allowing football clubs to qualify for UEFA club competitions on the basis of sporting merit in their original format.
“If this result was not possible, in particular due to timing problems, it would be preferable for the suspended national competitions to start again with a different format in a way that would further facilitate the qualification of clubs on the basis of sporting merit. “
And given the determination of UEFA and the Premier League to see the season ended rather than canceled, that would suggest that Liverpool will have the opportunity it needs.
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The Reds, with their 25-point lead at the top of the table, can now only be contradicted by the most sudden and shocking cancellation of the 2019/20 campaign.
Only six more points are needed to win their first title in 30 years and while the preferable route would be to play the last nine games, even the “sports merit” model would still be enough to hand the crown to Jurgen Klopp.
Logistics will continue to be discussed in detail as England seeks to temporarily follow the encouraging and progressive stages in German football where the Bundesliga clubs have recently resumed training.
Liverpool, as reported by ECHO earlier this week, told staff that a potential return to Melwood could take place in mid-May, although it was stressed that all future plans would continue to be guided by the latest restrictions and rules regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
But whatever happens, Liverpool, it now seems more than ever, will not be refused.