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Champions League: UEFA intends to play at all costs

UEFA has amended the regulations for C1 and C3. (Urs Lindt / freshfocus / Presse Sports)

Anticipating a tense health situation, the European body has published a battery of rules aiming to forcefully start its competitions for next season.

UEFA did not wait for the health situation to worsen to anticipate serious complications in the conduct of its competitions. Its executive committee met on Tuesday was the opportunity to approve an annex to the regulations of the Champions League and the Europa League concerning “special provisions applicable to the qualifying phase and play-offs in the context of Covid 19” . This therefore only concerns the start of the 2020-2021 competitions. With a clear objective: to do everything to ensure the achievement of its schedule despite a possible multiplication of players infected by the coronavirus.

Among the cases exposed, it should be noted that it is up to the home club to find a fallback stadium, in a neutral country, if his opponent is subject to travel restrictions imposed by the authorities of the home club; otherwise, the home club “is held responsible for the non-progress of the match” and loses it by forfeit. If the restrictions imposed by the national authorities of the two clubs are made too late for UEFA, the club of the said authority will also be penalized with a defeat on the green carpet.

13 players available, the limit

A team that sees around ten players from its squad positive for Covid-19 would be required to play if it has 13 or more players (including a goalkeeper) from its A list registered with UEFA. If he has less on hand, he can also use players who are not registered with UEFA. If he is unable to play, he will lose the game 3-0. Everything is done so that the meetings can take place. Another example: “If one of the members of the designated referee team tests positive for Covid-19 […] his replacement may have the same nationality as one of the two clubs. “

“This appendix reveals UEFA’s concern, analyzes Matthieu Barandas, lawyer specializing in football law. It anticipates problems and disputes. This is why it announces extremely short appeal periods. And that is why it writes in the preamble that in the event of inconsistency between this schedule and its other regulations, the schedule prevails. UEFA sees that we will not have a peaceful health situation in Europe when the qualifications are played (from late August to early October). But it is an “Annex 1” published on a date T. It will always be time to make a new annexe to readjust the rules in relation to the evolution of the health situation. “

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