terminación de las temporadas

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Almost all sports competitions have been suspended, including the major football leagues around the world. The main governing bodies in the world of football, both at national and international level, are discussing possible scenarios and the future of competitions affected by the current health crisis.

As explained in this blog a few weeks ago, the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is looking at options other than resuming the national league. The RFEF proposes to end non-professional competitions through an express promotion mechanism using a single-match play-off system.

On April 16, the RFEF Delegate Commission approved the qualifying criteria for European tournaments and the Copa del Rey if the national league cannot be finished. The RFEF proposes that the top four teams qualify for next season’s Champions League based on their position on the table the last day before the deadline—provided that the 20 teams have played the same number of games. The fifth and sixth classified would qualify for the UEFA Europa League, and the third spot would be allocated according to whether the Copa final is played and the position of the two finalist teams on the table.

On April 23, the UEFA Executive Committee approved the guidelines on eligibility for participation in next season’s European competitions addressed to national associations or federations.

UEFA urges national associations and leagues to prioritize the completion of the currently suspended domestic competitions. However, it provides for two scenarios for early cancellation: (i) existence of an official order prohibiting sports events so that the domestic competitions cannot be completed before a date that would make it possible to complete the current season in good time before the next season to start—as was the case in the Netherlands; and (ii) insurmountable economic problems which make finishing the season impossible because it would put at risk the long-term financial stability of the domestic competition and clubs.

Hence, UEFA is expressly considering the possibility that it will not be possible to resume domestic competitions as a result of the pandemic. Should this outcome not be possible, national associations and leagues will determine the final positions and qualifying criteria for European competitions based on objective, transparent and non-discriminatory principles. In the light of recent developments, more and more entities involved in the world of football are seriously contemplating the possibility that domestic competitions cannot be resumed (for instance, the Netherlands and Belgium have already brought the 2019/2020 season to an end based on the standings before the suspension of the competition due to COVID-19).

This post is also available in: Español

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lidia.margareto@cuatrecasas.com