Focus is on restarting domestic leagues in July and August and UEFA competitions after their completion
Paris: A European plan is being formed to resume football around July and August, with domestic leagues told Thursday not to abandon competitions yet due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The determination to ensure competitions are "decided on the field" to protect their integrity was outlined in a letter that was obtained by The Associated Press. It was signed by the heads of UEFA, the European Club Association and European Leagues body and was being sent to their members.
The correspondence was issued hours after the Belgian topflight became the first major European competition to recommend ending its season with the current standings declared final.
"We are confident that football can restart in the months to come -- with conditions that will be dictated by public authorities -- and believe that any decision of abandoning domestic competitions is, at this stage, premature and not justified," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, ECA chairman Andrea Agnelli and EL president Lars-Christer Olsson stated in their letter.
Leagues first, UEFA events later
Competitions, including UEFA's Champions League and Europa League, were put on hold last month as the Covid19 outbreak spread across Europe and governments imposed lockdowns, banning sports gatherings.
UEFA working groups have been assessing the legal, regulatory and financial issues caused by the abrupt halt to football and formulated plans to resume competitions beyond the planned completion of the 2019-20 seasons by June 30 when it is safe to do so.
"Their work is now focusing on scenarios encompassing the months of July and August, including the possibility that the UEFA competitions restart after the completion of domestic leagues," read the letter sent to leagues, clubs and national associations.
"A joint management of calendars is strictly required as the conclusion of the current season must be coordinated with the start of the new one, which may be partly impacted because of the overstretch.