International matches scheduled to take place in June were called off on Wednesday as UEFA held another video conference amid the worldwide coronavirus crisis.
European football’s governing body also confirmed that all UEFA club competitions remain postponed indefinitely.
In truth, there wasn’t a great deal new to take from this latest meeting between UEFA and the general secretaries of all 55 of its member associations.
For Fantasy managers, the limbo looks set to continue for the foreseeable future and any optimistic notion that the Premier League will recommence at the end of April or beginning of May can safely be disregarded – even more so after the comments of England’s deputy chief medical officer at the weekend.
The fact that international matches scheduled for two months time, including the four Euro 2021 play-off ties, have been shelved is another clear indication of how far we have to go before we are back to anything approaching normality.
Just two weeks ago, UEFA had announced that they were aiming to have all club competitions finished by the end of June.
A fortnight on, European football’s ruling power have simply said that matches under its jurisdiction remain “postponed until further notice”.
UEFA also announced that the deadlines related to all 2020/21 club competitions, in “particular as regards the admission process and the registration of players”, would be put on ice.
The administrative body went on to highlight the “exceptional circumstances” concerning financial fair play and club licensing, and their full statement can be viewed here.
While there was little of substance to be gleaned from the official press release, journalists following the video conference have shed a bit more light on how football may proceed in the medium term.
The Independent’s Miguel Delaney claims to have been told by multiple sources that voiding the 2019/20 campaign remains “off the table” both in England and elsewhere on the continent, having previously reported that the Premier League were developing plans to host their outstanding fixtures in “isolated camps” in June and July – should the situation have improved by that point.
Tariq Panja of The New York Times added that the priority is apparently on finishing domestic leagues, followed by European competitions, and claimed that league positions would determine Europa League qualification places if domestic cup competitions were scrapped.
UEFA call with federations lasted about 2 hours in atmosphere that was described as positive. Lots of questions asked, including what would happen to European spots if domestic cup comps were scrapped. They would go to next in line in the league, they were told.
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) April 1, 2020
Paul MacInnes of The Guardian meanwhile reported that the Champions League and Europa League could be completed in July and August.
As has been the case for the best part of a month, though, there is still so much unknown about the spread of COVID-19 and when everyday life, let alone professional football, will be back to business as usual.
Any plans for a resumption remain very much written in pencil at present and it will be coronavirus calling the shots for now, not football’s administrators.