Leagues and clubs across Europe have been warned that the cancellation of competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic at this stage is “premature” and “unjustified”.
The Belgian top flight became the first to conclude its campaign on Thursday, with the Club of Bruges declared national champion.
A letter from the presidents of the UEFA European governing body, the European Club Association and the European Leagues group to national associations, leagues and clubs said that cancellation should be a “last resort” and that plans are being developed for the game to continue until July. and August, the Champions League and the Europa League to be completed thereafter.
“Without unity and without solidarity, nobody can get out of the crisis because we are all interdependent,” warns the letter.
A task force is reviewing the meeting schedule and the letter says it will inform as soon as possible – and ideally by mid-May – of the recovery plan to follow.
“Their work is now focused on scenarios covering the months of July and August, including the possibility that UEFA competitions will resume after the national leagues are completed,” the letter said.
“Joint management of the calendars is strictly necessary since the conclusion of the current season must be coordinated with the start of the news, which could be partly affected by the extension.
“Stopping competitions should really be the last resort after recognizing that there is no calendar alternative to conclude the season. “
The letter’s recipients were also warned that cutting the leagues unilaterally would cast doubt on the clubs’ eligibility to compete in European competitions next season.
“Since participation in the UEFA club competitions is determined by the sporting result obtained from a full national competition, an early termination would cast doubts on the fulfillment of this condition,” added the letter.
“UEFA reserves the right to assess the clubs’ right to be admitted to UEFA club competitions 2020/21, in accordance with the applicable competition regulations.”
A second working group has been set up by UEFA to examine the economic and regulatory impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, including the issue of standard player contracts which expire on 30 June.
On Wednesday, UEFA postponed international matches scheduled to be played in June, including the Euro 2020 play-offs, paving the way for action in the national league if circumstances allow football to return by then.