With the current outbreak of Coronavirus or COVID-19 and players getting tested positive for the virus while others are being quarantined, UCL has thought it wise to postpone all outstanding games until further notice for the teams to deal with it– When will the postponement be lifted? And when will the UEFA Champions League resume?
Effects on the Champions and Europa League
As a result of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, both the Europa League and the Champions League competitions are being postponed according to UEFA on Friday. The Champions League round 16 should have ended next week, but as it is, it is hard to tell when games will resume. UEFA also announced on Thursday that it is also set to postpone two champions League matches to allow the teams to work out the impact of the virus outbreak. Juventus against Lyon and Manchester City against Real Madrid were both scheduled to play on Tuesday. Still, then their games were postponed as well, this happened before the decision to delay Wednesday’s games on Friday was taken.
UEFA said in their statement, “In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed.”
“This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League, Round of 16-second leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League, Round of 16-second leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020.” “Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course.”
“As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.” Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Juventus are dealing with the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, hence the decision.
Few players infected with the virus
Defender Danielle Rugani of Juventus FC, according to results, tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Real Madrid players, on the other hand, are being held in a quarantine zone after a member of the club’s basketball team had been confirmed to have tested positive for the Coronavirus since Real Madrid’s basketball, and soccer teams share the same facilities.
Chelsea FC player Callum Hudson-Odoi also tested positive. He later took to social media to announce to his fans and the general public that he has been cured and will be isolated from everyone for the next week before he comes back out.Valencia players Ezequiel Garay and Eliaquim Mangala also tested positive for the virus and they were the first cases to hit the Spanish league. The virus has spread so fast over a short period that many games now are being played behind closed doors, and a lot of leagues in Europe did not hesitate to suspend their seasons.
Suspension of significant leagues and other Tournaments
The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, and Ligue 1 have all suspended their games. However, amidst all the commotion, four Champions League games managed to take place as scheduled earlier this week, and some of the games were played in the stadium without fans. Congratulations to Atletico Madrid, RB Leipzig, Atlanta, and Paris Saint-Germain as they have qualified for the quarter-finals.
Other scheduled matches for this week, like Bayern Munich’s brawl with Chelsea and Barcelona against Napoli, were also postponed. During an emergency video conference, UEFA will be shedding more light on the postponement of Euro 2020, and this conference would involve all 55 European football associations on Tuesday. CONMEBOL has also asked that FIFA suspend the beginning of the world cup qualifiers that were scheduled for March ending.
FIFA has not yet responded to the letter they published on Wednesday, where they requested the sports governing body and it’s members, which include; Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, and Bolivia.
The Coronavirus or COVID-19 has been shaking countries all around the world for some months now, and since researchers are working tirelessly to come out with a vaccine, there is none for now. The infection can be prevented by frequent hand washing under running water and avoiding crowded areas. Try also to avoid a lot of handshakes or at least make good use of hand sanitizers.