FIFA Vice-President Suggests Adapting European Season to Calendar Year Format

Sean Walsh
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With all of the uncertainty the coronavirus pandemic has brought, it's hard to envisage a time where football will be played under normal circumstances again.

The Bundesliga are hoping to resume behind closed doors this month but with extensive measures, and they've already had to push their schedule back.

Meanwhile, the Premier League are attempting to launch 'Project Restart' in a bid to finish the season, with games being played at neutral grounds. However, not all clubs have agreed to these plans.

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Restarting football seems unthinkable at times, and FIFA vice-president and CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, has said that the idea of moving European seasons to follow a calendar year format is a 'possibility'.

"We have the opportunity because the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 will be played in November/December and that could be the idea," Montagliani told Radio Sportiva, as quoted by the Telegraph.

"Here in the Americas, the season is already played according to the calendar year, perhaps it is a solution that could also be used in Europe and Africa, it is a possibility to be discussed at national and continental level.

"It is not an idea to be discarded, it can be a solution in view of the next two years and this winter World Cup."

While most countries are attempting to soldier on and conclude their campaigns, the decision has been made in Belgium, France and the Netherlands to finish the season immediately.

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UEFA are looking to conclude the Champions League and Europa League in August (though French clubs have been forbidden by their government to play in the country again until September at the earliest), with domestic competitions wrapped up by the end of July.

While there seems a wide persistence to keep the football schedule relatively similar moving forward, Montagliani added that the pandemic gives FIFA a chance to rejig the calendar as they see fit.

"We had already started thinking about how to set a new calendar from 2024, now with this crisis we need immediate answers," he said.

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