Travel restrictions may force football clubs to forfeit European games next season

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 05, 2020, 05.19 PM(IST)

Logo of UEFA Champions League and Europa League. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Football clubs playing in 2020-21 edition of European competitions could be forced to forfeit matches if they are unable to inform UEFA about travel restrictions in place to curb the spread of coronavirus, as per guidelines issues by UEFA.

Football clubs playing in 2020-21 edition of European competitions could be forced to forfeit matches if they are unable to inform UEFA about travel restrictions in place to curb the spread of coronavirus, as per guidelines issues by UEFA.

The European football’s governing body, UEFA said that it would publish a list of known travel restrictions between countries before the draw is made. Additionally, the clubs would have to inform UEFA about any other unknown restrictions at least 48 hours before the draw and if they fail to do so then they will be handed a 3-0 defeat as a result of a forfeited match.

“If a club fails to inform the UEFA administration two days prior to the relevant draw of any restrictions other than those published by UEFA ... the club will be held responsible ... and the match will be declared to be forfeited by the club in question,” the governing body said.

UEFA further said that if a club was draw against an opponent that is not allowed to travel to the respective country then it must find a neutral venue for the home fixture. Failure to propose a suitable alternative venue would force the home club to forfeit the match.

The rules will apply for the qualifying rounds and play-offs of 2020-21 season’s European competitions.

The 2019-20 season’s remaining UEFA Champions League and Europa League round of 16 second-leg matches, that were also postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic in March, are set to be played in the stadiums of home teams.

However, the ‘Final-8’ of Champions League and Europa League, will be played as a mini-tournament in Portugal and Germany respectively.