Uefa issues guidelines for European club competition qualification, Women’s Euro moved to 2022

Uefa continues to consider a variety of options to resume its Champions League and Europa League competitions and has outlined guidelines on eligibility for clubs to participate in the 2020-21 editions.

European football’s governing body said in a statement on Thursday that it was examining different scenarios based on domestic football starting before European competitions recommenced.

It was also decided that, as expected, the Uefa’s Women’s European Championship will take place in the summer of 2022.

The women’s event, which was initially scheduled to be held in the summer of 2021, will be staged from July 6-31, 2022 to accommodate the postponement of the men’s European Championship (from 2020 to 2021).

Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin said: “When we had to take an urgent decision on the postponement of Uefa Euro 2020, we always had the impact on Uefa Women’s Euro 2021 in mind. We have carefully considered all options, with our commitment to the growth of women’s football at the forefront of our thinking. By moving Uefa Women’s Euro to the following year, we are ensuring that our flagship women’s competition will be the only major football tournament of the summer, providing it with the spotlight it deserves.”

European football has been shuttered since March as the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the region. To date no leagues have restarted, although the Bundesliga is making plans to return behind closed doors and the Allsvenskan, the top tier of club football in Sweden, is looking to start its season on June 14. The Dutch government also extended a ban on public events that has effectively ended the top-tier Eredivisie season.

On the bid to complete the 2019-20 season, the governing body said the ideal scenario is to have “the currently suspended domestic competitions completed enabling football clubs to qualify for Uefa club competitions on sporting merit in their original format”.

The alternatives Uefa advocates include restarting leagues with a different format in a manner which would still facilitate clubs to qualify on sporting merit.

Uefa has been considering a plan to stage the final of the 2019-20 Champions League on August 29 in the Turkish city of Istanbul as part of a proposal that would also see the Europa League final be held three days earlier in Gdansk, Poland.

If national associations or leagues have legitimate reasons to prematurely terminate their domestic competitions, Uefa would require the national association or league concerned to select clubs for the Uefa club competitions.

This scenario would come into play where an official order prohibiting sports events was in place meaning domestic competitions could not be completed before the next season was due to start.

Another scenario is where insurmountable economic problems make finishing the season impossible because it would put at risk the long-term financial stability of the domestic competition or the survival of the clubs.