Champions League

UEFA cancel 2020/21 Youth League amid coronavirus travel restrictions

Max Cooper
Feb 17, 2021, 5:15 PM GMT
Benfica and Real Madrid line up for the UEFA Youth League final
Benfica and Real Madrid line up for the UEFA Youth League final | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images
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UEFA have announced the 2020/21 UEFA Youth League has been cancelled for the season due to the unsurpassable complications caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the subsequent travel restrictions between countries.

The European competition's format had already been altered in order to accommodate the measures enforced by the relevant health authorities and they had initially postponed its commencement. But ever-changing guidelines have continuously moved the goalposts for UEFA and the problematic travel and organisation worries caused two teams to withdraw from the tournament.

Real Madrid celebrate success in the UEFA Youth League final
Real Madrid celebrate success in the UEFA Youth League final | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

UEFA announced on Wednesday afternoon that they have been left with no choice but to cancel the 2020/21 UEFA Youth League, despite their best efforts to get the competition started.

"The UEFA Executive Committee has decided to cancel the 2020/21 edition of the UEFA Youth League due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on the staging of competitions," they stated.

"The committee had initially decided last year to amend the format of the competition and to delay its start, but the various measures imposed by health authorities around Europe have continued to evolve since then. The travelling restrictions affecting participating clubs create major difficulties for organising their matches and two clubs have already withdrawn from the competition.

"The UEFA Executive Committee stressed that there is no possibility to further postpone the start of the competition and that the health and safety of youth players must be given highest possible priority.

Three of Madrid's young stars
Three of Madrid's young stars | Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

"Regrettably, the conditions to restart this international youth competition are not met in the current circumstances and both the UEFA Club Competitions Committee and the European Club Association were consulted and supported the idea to exceptionally cancel this season’s UEFA Youth League."

Real Madrid were the 2020 winners of the Youth League, beating Benfica 3-2 in the final thanks to a winning goal from Miguel Gutierrez Ortega.

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