Champions League, Europa League Finals Postponed Indefinitely Due to Coronavirus


23/3/2020 22:13:00
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     Champions League, Europa League Finals Postponed Indefinitely Due to Coronavirus

UEFA announced Monday it has postponed the 2019-20 men's and women's Champions League and Europa League finals as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


The organizing body added that "no decision has yet been made on rearranged dates."


The competition went on hold midway through the round of 16. Atalanta, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig had already punched a ticket to the quarterfinals, with reigning champions Liverpool knocked out.


UEFA announced March 17 it had postponed Euro 2020 until June 2021 and set up a working group to determine when the Champions League and Europa League could return.


UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin issued a statement about the situation:

"We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent. It is at times like these that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.


"The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and, in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football. There was a real spirit of cooperation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result."


Speaking to its member associations, UEFA had tentatively outlined June 24 for the Europa League final and June 27 for the Champions League final. Pushing back Euro 2020 freed up the summer to complete the two continental tournaments.


The women's Euros were scheduled for 2021, though. The Guardian's Suzanne Wrack reported some are expecting an accompanying move to 2022.


This is merely the most recent example of how COVID-19 has altered the sports calendar. Competitions across the world have been in an indefinite holding pattern in order to limit the spread of the disease.


Per CNN, more than 294,000 cases of the coronavirus have been confirmed and at least 12,944 people have died.


Serie A was one of the first major leagues impacted after Italy instituted a sweeping suspension of all athletic competitions. La Liga went on hiatus shortly thereafter, and the dominoes really began to fall after Arsenal confirmed manager Mikel Arteta tested positive for the coronavirus.


Juventus' Daniele Rugani and Blaise Matuidi, Valencia's Ezequiel Garay and Fiorentina's Patrick Cutrone are among the others who have tested positive for COVID-19.

 


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