'Concrete plan' for European season to finish in August, says UEFA president

Reuters Videos

RESENDING WITH COMPLETE SCRIPT

VIDEO SHOWS: UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN DISCUSSING HIS PLANS FOR THE EUROPEAN SOCCER SEASON TO FINISH IN AUGUST AND FOR EURO 2020 TO GO AHEAD IN 2021, FILE FOOTAGE OF UEFA HEADQUARTERS, LIVERPOOL WITH THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TROPHY AND CELEBRATING AFTER WINNING THE 2018/19 COMPETITION, FILE FOOTAGE OF PARIS ST GERMAIN AND OLYMPIQUE LYONNAIS STADIUMS, EURO 2020 PROMOTION VIDEO AND FILE FOOTAGE OF WEMBLEY STADIUM

SHOWS:

Scroll to continue with content

Ad
Summer Cover Stories_Bedroom

UNKNOWN LOCATION (MAY 17, 2020) (BEIN SPORTS - MUST COURTESY "BEIN SPORTS")

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

"We have a concrete plan of finishing the European season. Of course, this summer we will have to play without spectators at the stadiums and I think the majority of leagues will finish the season. The ones who will not, it's their decision. But they will still have to play qualifiers if they want to participate in the European UEFA competitions."

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

"We have an idea, but we have to wait for the executive committee of UEFA to confirm the dates. But I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is like it looks now in August."

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

"As things look now, I'm sure at this moment that we can finish the European season and that means UEFA competition. The national leagues are a separate thing and they will decide separately how do they want to proceed but as I said before, I think at least 80% will finish the season. I mean they will play and finish the season as usual."

6. WHITE FLASH

7. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

"For now, it looks that there will not be much… the calendar will not be much affected, especially the calendar of UEFA competitions. The calendar is very dense, so we don't have much space to change things and my opinion is that it will stay the same. About the national leagues - it's hard to say now. Some say that they are thinking of starting a bit later, some will start normally, it's too far (away). But for the European competition - for the Europa League and Champions League we are of a view that it should stay the same."

NYON, SWITZERLAND (FILE - DECEMBER 4, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

8. VARIOUS OF UEFA FLAGS OUTSIDE HEADQUARTERS

9. EXTERIOR OF UEFA HEADQUARTERS

10. UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN SHAKING JOURNALISTS' HANDS AS HE LEAVES ROOM


NYON, SWITZERLAND (FILE - MARCH 4, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

11. UEFA LOGO ON WALL

12. WALL WITH EUROPEAN STATE MEMBERS AND UEFA LOGO

13. UEFA LOGO ON WALL

14. EXTERIOR OF UEFA HEADQUARTERS

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - JUNE 2, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

15. LIVERPOOL MANAGER JUERGEN KLOPP AND TEAM CAPTAIN JORDAN HENDERSON WALKING DOWN PLANE STEPS WITH CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TROPHY/ KLOPP INSPECTING TROPHY

16. LIVERPOOL PLAYERS ON AN OPEN TOP BUS PARADING IN FRONT OF FANS AND THE ROYAL LIVER BUILDING WITH RED SMOKE SWIRLING THEM

17. PLAYERS CELEBRATING ON TOP OF THE BUS

18. FANS

19. LIVERPOOL MANAGER, JURGEN KLOPP, CELEBRATING / BUS DRIVING THROUGH CITY WITH THOUSANDS OF FANS CHEERING AND CELEBRATING

UNKNOWN LOCATION (MAY 17, 2020) (BEIN SPORTS - MUST COURTESY "BEIN SPORTS")

20. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

"Then Paris Saint-Germain and Lyon, if they qualify because they have a second match with Juventus, will have to organise it in France, or if this is not possible, they will have to organise it in a neutral ground. If we have two-leg competition, everybody has to play and if you cannot play in your country, then you have to organise it in a neutral ground - and that's it. But I don't see the reason why French authorities would not allow them to organise a match without spectators, but let's see. Again, it's out of my power."

PARIS, FRANCE (FILE - MARCH 10, 2020) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

21. VARIOUS EXTERIOR OF PARC DES PRINCES STADIUM

LYON, FRANCE (FILE - APRIL 17, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

22. LYON'S GROUPAMA STADIUM

23. VARIOUS OF STADIUM INTERIOR WITH EMPTY SEATS

UNKNOWN LOCATION (MAY 17, 2020) (BEIN SPORTS - MUST COURTESY "BEIN SPORTS")

24. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UEFA PRESIDENT, ALEKSANDER CEFERIN, SAYING:

"In principle, the idea is that we stay in the same cities. For now, we have had conversations with nine cities, and everything is set. With three cities, we have some issues. So, we will discuss further, and we will in principle do it in 12 cities. but if not, we are ready to do it in 10, nine or eight."

NYON, SWITZERLAND (FILE - MARCH 4, 2016) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

25. VARIOUS OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE AND EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS TROPHIES IN UEFA LOBBY

26. UEFA EURO LOGO ON WALL

27. EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS TROPHY ON DISPLAY

28. EXTERIOR OF UEFA HEADQUARTERS

ANIMATION (FILE) (Y&R/UEFA - ACCESS ALL)

29. UEFA EURO 2020 ANIMATION

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FILE - SEPTEMBER 15, 2014) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL)

30. EXTERIOR OF WEMBLEY STADIUM

31. SECTION OF ARCH

32. ARCH SEEN FROM INSIDE STADIUM

33. STADIUM INTERIOR

34. GROUNDSKEEPER CUTTING GRASS

35. INTERIOR OF STADIUM

36. SEATING

37. VIEW FROM PITCH LEVEL

38. SEATING

39. INTERIOR OF STADIUM

STORY: UEFA has a plan to finish the 2019-20 season by August, including the Champions League and Europa League campaigns, the European soccer governing body's president Aleksander Ceferin has said.

The majority of European league seasons were suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but a few leagues have announced plans for a restart in the coming weeks.

The French and Dutch top-flight campaigns have been cancelled but the German Bundesliga restarted on Saturday and Ceferin expects at least 80% of national leagues to finish their seasons.

"We have an idea, but we have to wait for the executive committee of UEFA to confirm the dates. I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is as it is now, in August," Ceferin told beIN Sports.

"As things look now, I'm sure... that we can finish the European season and this means UEFA competition.

"I think the majority of leagues will finish the season. The ones who will not, it's their decision. But they will still have to play qualifiers if they want to participate in the European UEFA competition."

Both the Champions League and Europa League are yet to complete their last-16 matches.

Paris St Germain, who were declared Ligue 1 champions, are looking to play their Champions League games abroad after the French government said professional sports would not be allowed to return before September.

"Paris St Germain and Lyon... will have to organise (matches) in France," Ceferin added. "If this is not possible, (they) will have to organise it at a neutral ground.

"If you cannot play in your country, then you have to organise it at a neutral ground... I don't see the reason why French authorities would not allow them to organise a match without spectators, but let's see. It's out of my power."

Euro 2020, scheduled to be hosted in 12 cities across Europe, has been postponed until next year.

"We've had conversations with nine cities, and everything is set," Ceferin said. "With three cities, we have some issues. So, we will discuss further. In principle, we will do it in 12 cities but if not, we are ready to do it in 10, nine or eight."

(Production: Tim Hart)

What to Read Next