European football’s governing body, UEFA, has formally postponed this season’s club competition finals in response to the delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Every major league campaign on the continent has been suspended for the time being, falling in line with most mainstream sports in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19.
UEFA has followed suit after announcing on Thursday that the Champions League, Women’s Champions League and Europa League finals will be postponed, although no decision has been made on the rearranged dates.
This means the tournaments—which were scheduled to end in late May—could introduce one-legged knockout fixtures in an attempt to streamline proceedings when play resumes. It’s been reported that mini-tournaments could be held in Istanbul, Turkey, and Gdansk, Poland, the two cities that were due to host the Champions League and Europa League finals, respectively.
It’s understood UEFA is hopeful of rearranging finals to take place in the week of June 22 - 27.
One significant obstacle in the reorganising is that the Champions League and Europa League—both in the round-of-16 phase—each have fixtures that are at various stages of completion. Four Champions League quarter-finalists have been decided with four last-16 second legs still to play, while two round-of-16 fixtures in the Europa League are yet to get under way.
The eight remaining Women’s Champions League teams were set to begin the quarter-finals before play was suspended.
BBC Sport’s Simon Stone wrote it’s being considered that some fixture yet to play a first leg could be combined into a single game, with the venue to be decided via a coin toss.