German football clubs have demanded the postponement of the UEFA Euro 2020 as a consequence of the coronavirus crisis affecting European football.
Moving the tournament is inevitable in order to finish the current club season, officials of the German football clubs underlined. UEFA, the European football association, is going to decide about the future steps on Tuesday after competitions across the continent came to a halt in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
“I expect the national leagues to get more space to shift match days and finish the season later this summer after the decision tomorrow,” German league association CEO Christian Seifert said, according to Xinhua news.
Two options are being discussed but they need the approval from FIFA as the proposals affect events in 2021, such as the World Cup of clubs scheduled for the summer of 2021 in China.
The continental tournament could be shifted, which is the favoured solution for most European leagues, including the German league association Deutsche Fussball Liga.
The second scenario is proposing a move to the end of 2020. The proposal is unlikely to succeed due to a tight national and international timetable.
At an emergency meeting in Frankfurt, representatives of 36 professional clubs in the German first and second division voted for a temporary break of the 2019/20 season until April 2.
“We don’t expect to restart until after April 2, but most likely much later,” Seifert said.
Drawing a realistic picture, the restart of competitive action isn’t expected before the end of May. Delaying the Euro would provide more opportunities to finish national and international club competitions.
“We’re talking about late June or later,” Borussia Dortmund CEO and German European Club Association representative Hans-Joachim Watzke said.
“If we talk about a restart, we talk about games behind closed doors. It seems out of sight to run games allowing fans this season at all,” the 60-year-old stated.
The league representatives announced that they opposed an early end of the season as clubs would face substantial losses.
“We need to pay attention to over 50,000 jobs in football,” Watzke said, adding that he wasn’t talking about the 400 players.
Seifert said several professional clubs may face insolvency when “we don’t take into consideration to run games behind closed doors at a certain stage.” He indicated assistant funds could be set up to support the struggling sides.
These “Geisterspiele” (ghost games) might be the only way to secure the future of several clubs, the official emphasised. German clubs rate the losses of an early end of the current season at around 750 million euros.
Former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness demanded postponement, or even cancellation, of the Euro 2020. The 68-year-old said: “The leagues must be finished. At present, we don’t know how long this is going to take, we might be talking about October.”