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Coronavirus in sport: UEFA denies August 3 deadline to complete Champions League

Aleksander Ceferin

Bengaluru, April 6: The European football's governing body has denied that there was an August 3 deadline to complete this season's UEFA Champions League after a report by German broadcaster ZDF quoted the body's chief Aleksander Ceferin as saying the competition had to be finished by that date.

"It has been reported that UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin told ZDF in Germany that the UEFA Champions League must finish by August 3. This isn't true," a UEFA statement said.

"The President was very clear not to set exact dates for the end of the season," the statement added.

Coronavirus: Champions League must finish by August 3: UEFA president Ceferin

Football leagues across Europe and beyond have been suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic which has spread across the globe.

"UEFA is currently analysing all options to complete domestic and European seasons with the European Club Association and the European Leagues in the working group set up on March 17," the UEFA statement said.

"The primary priority of all the members of the working group is to preserve public health.

"Following on from that, its to find calendar solutions to complete all competitions. Options are currently being studied to play matches in July and in August if needed, depending on restart dates and the permission of national authorities."

The UEFA Champions League had been stopped midway with the round-of-16 yet to be completed.

Their final outing before football's continent-wide shutdown was Atletico Madrid's thrilling 3-2 extra-time victory over Liverpool at Anfield - a win that sealed them a quartefinal berth in the premier European competition, courtesy of a 4-2 aggregate triumph.

Atletico sends Liverpool packing

However that tie became controversial later with Liverpool Council's Director of Public Health Matthew Ashton saying the match may have played a role in the rise in coronavirus cases in the city.

Liverpool vs Atletico tie in the eye of a storm

There were just 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Liverpool at that time. But nine days after that game which was played in front of 54,000 fans, the number of cases has surged to 309. Ashton felt it was wrong to play the game in front of a sellout crowd and also added that the match went ahead despite reservations from many stake holders.

(With UEFA Media inputs)

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Story first published: Monday, April 6, 2020, 8:39 [IST]
Other articles published on Apr 6, 2020
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