UEFA, the European Club Association, and the European Leagues umbrella said in a joint letter Thursday that it’s of “paramount importance” to complete domestic leagues and continental competitions this season, according to Rob Harris of The Associated Press.
European football is aiming for a restart in July and August. Leagues were notified that canceling play entirely should be only the “last resort.”
The letter was sent after Belgium’s Pro League became the first major competition in Europe to cancel its season. It awarded the title to Club Brugge, who were in first place prior to the stoppage.
UEFA tasked two working groups with figuring out how to extend the current season beyond the June 30 deadline. They’re asked to focus “on scenarios … including the possibility that the UEFA competitions restart after the completion of domestic leagues.”
The letter reads: “We are confident that football can restart in the months to come – with conditions that will be dictated by public authorities – and believe that any decision of abandoning domestic competitions is, at this stage, premature and not justified.”
The joint statement also suggests that leagues that abandon campaigns without UEFA approval could see their teams blocked from participating in the Champions League and Europa League next season, as those spots are based on the final domestic league standings.