UEFA announced the postponement of several national youth matches for the next few months and has shortened the format of the competitions in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The decision to shorten the tournament format has been initiated to alleviate the logistical and financial strains on national associations. The purpose was also to "safeguard the health of athletes and minimise any potential risk of spreading the infection," UEFA said in a statement.
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The continental body also confirmed that the European Under-19 championship, which was initially scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland in July will now play the group stage in November with the knockouts scheduled for March next year.
They also cancelled the 2020 Women’s Under-17 championship in Sweden. The tournament was initially deferred to October. The statement said that the three highest-ranked teams in Europe- England, Germany and Spain would qualify for the Under-17 World Cup in India next year.
FA Cup Scraps Replays
The English Football Association have confirmed that the FA Cup has scrapped replays for the 2020-21 season to ease the congestion of fixtures caused due to the pandemic.
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"In order to assist in easing pressure on the football schedule, there will be no replays for the 2020-21 season," the FA said in a statement.
Furthermore, the first four rounds of the Carabao Cup will be held over consecutive weeks in September this year (barring clashes with international games). Instead of a two-legged semi final, there will now be a single match scheduled for January.
The FA also added that due to the financial crunch caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the prize funds will be reverted back to those in 2017-18, with the winner being awarded £1.8 million ($2.36 million).
Bayern Initiates Action on Racism
Bayern Munich CEO, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has said consequences of racial allegations involving a youth coach will be announced soon.
"There will be consequences soon. Our internal investigation has been completed quickly," Rummenigge told broadcaster Sky. "This issue does not fit with our values, the values that FC Bayern Munich represent."
WDR magazine Sport Inside, accused an unnamed long-serving coach of using racial slurs on numerous occasions in a WhatsApp group comprising various staff at the club's youth campus. The messages were posted on Twitter before being deleted.
"This case makes me angry because I want to make it clear and one should not forget that Bayern is a club that always has been against racism," he said.
The report also found that since September 2018 four anonymous letters were received by Bayern underlining incidents of racial abuse in their youth section.
UEFA Nations League
UEFA Nations League matches are likely to take place at neutral grounds, with a formal decision likely to come before the Champions League final on August 23.
The opening two rounds of Nations League games will take place from September 3 to 8 in the international break when the continent's national teams will be playing.
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UEFA is keen to avoid a situation where matches could be cancelled last minute due to the current changing restrictions in the continent.
“Close cooperation between all teams and UEFA will be needed to ensure the regular staging of all matches. The possibility of playing international matches at neutral venues cannot be discounted at this stage,” UEFA said last week.
Sudeva FC’s Larger Plan
Delhi's first I-League club Sudeva FC's long-term goal is to produce new players for the Indian team. The club hopes to nurture young players by inviting experts from Spain for coach education, scouting and elaborate youth development programmes.
Sudeva FC's entry to I-League was given a green flag by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) on Wednesday. On Thursday, the co-founders of the club, Anuj Gupta and Vijay Hakari spoke about their plans, vision and expectations from this point onwards.
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"We will bring Spanish coaches, they will train our coaches and other coaches in Delhi-NCR," Gupta said during a virtual press conference. The two founders are aiming for a top-five finish in their first season of I-League.
"We had planned everything but because of Covid-19, we could not launch our curriculum this year.
"Next summer we would be doing a lot of these curriculums where we would be teaching the coaches. It will also involve diet, physiotherapy and educating the coach in a holistic manner so that he can have his own academy."
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