UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin Predicts '80%' of European Leagues Will Finish Seasons

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UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has predicted that around 80% of European leagues will play out their remaining fixtures, while opening the door to reducing the amount of host cities for the forthcoming European Championships.

Domestic football around Europe has come to a virtual standstill due to the coronavirus crisis, with Germany - who relaunched the Bundesliga this weekend - the only nation to resume so far.

Top level football in France, Belgium and the Netherlands has already been officially ended for the season, but there remains an optimism in England, Spain and Italy of returning to action at some point in June.

And speaking to beIN Sports (as quoted by TEAMtalk), Ceferin believes that the vast majority of outstanding seasons will be brought to an end in time for the 2020/21 season getting underway.

“We have a concrete plan of finishing the European season,” he said. “Of course, this summer we will have to play without spectators at the stadiums. I think the majority of leagues will finish the season. The ones who will not, it’s their decision. But they will still have to play qualifiers if they want to participate in the European UEFA competition.

“I can say that the European season will be finished, if everything is as it is now, in August. As things look now, I’m sure that we can finish the European season and this means UEFA competition.

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“The national leagues are a separate thing and they will decide separately how they want to proceed. But I think at least 80 per cent will finish the season.”

In order to help clubs finish their domestic seasons, the Euros - initially pencilled in for this summer - have been moved back to 2021.

There may be further changes to the tournament, however, as Ceferin admits that the initial plan to host the competition spread over 12 cities - Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg - may be unviable in the current climate.

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"In principle the idea is that we stay in the same cities," Ceferin continued. "For now we have conversations. With nine cities everything is set, with three cities we have some issues. So we will discuss further and we will, in principle, do it in 12 cities. But if not we're ready to do it in 10, nine or eight cities."

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