Football leagues across Europe received a May 25 deadline to inform the governing body, UEFA, of the plans to restart their domestic competitions post Covid-19 lockdowns. UEFA is keen to start planning for next season's European club tournaments and for that, it needs to finalise a list of clubs which can be included into the prelim fixtures.
In a letter to the 55 federations in UEFA, president Aleksander Ceferin wrote that any league cancelling its season would need to produce a list of teams that have qualified for European club competitions.
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"In the event that a domestic competition is to be prematurely terminated for legitimate reasons... Uefa would require the national association to explain by May 25 the special circumstances justifying such premature termination and to select clubs for the Uefa club competitions 2020-21 on the basis of sporting merit in the 2019-20 domestic competitions," he added.
Meanwhile, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 seasons will not resume after France banned all sporting events until September. Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the 2019-20 sporting season was over. The country plans to begin easing its coronavirus lockdown from May 11.
It is not yet known whether Ligue de Football Professional (LFP) will choose to abandon the season with no promotion or relegation and no champions or base the outcome of the campaign on current standings. Defending champions Paris St-Germain are 12 points clear of Marseille at the top of Ligue 1, with 10 rounds of matches and one outstanding fixture left to play. Toulouse are bottom of the table, 17 points from safety, and 10 points behind Amiens. Nimes are 18th and in the relegation play-off spot, three points behind St Etienne in 17th.
Argentina, meanwhile, declared its football season over and said there will be no relegation for two seasons. The decision will be officially ratified later this week with the president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Claudio Tapia, announcing promotion will continue, although he did not clarify from which divisions.
Yellow Card for Spitting
Last week questions were raised over the use of saliva in cricket. Now football officials are pondering on the matter. As per a report in The Telegraph, a member of the FIFA’s Medical Committee advised football leagues to ban spitting during matches in order to stop the threat of coronavirus and give players who ignore the rule a yellow card.
“This is a common practice in football and it is not very hygienic,” Michel D’Hooghe, a member of the FIFA medical committee was quoted as saying in the report.
“So when we start football again I think we should have to avoid that at maximum. The question is whether that will be possible. Perhaps they can give a yellow card. It is unhygienic and a good way to spread the virus.”
“This is one of the reasons why we have to be very careful before we start again. I am not pessimistic but I am rather skeptical at the moment,” he added.
Michael Robinson Dies
Former Liverpool striker Michael Robinson has died at the age of 61. The former Ireland international won a league, League Cup and European Cup treble with Liverpool in the 1983-84 season.
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He played for Brighton & Hove Albion, Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers as well before ending his career at Osasuna in Spain.
Robinson stayed in Spain after his playing career finished in 1989 and became a television commentator, pundit and presenter.
"Liverpool FC is deeply saddened by the passing of former player Michael Robinson, aged 61," the club said in a statement.
Self Isolation for Man City Players
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola and at least eight players could face 14 days of self-isolation when they return to Britain for the resumption of the Premier League matches.
With the Premier League aiming restart in June, foreign players and managers returning to England are likely to be asked to self-isolate as part of steps to curb the spread of the virus.
At least four managers as well as players from several teams could be affected. Guardiola is in Spain following the death of his mother this month, while eight City players are in their home countries.
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