UEFA reportedly debating whether to suspend the Champions League after last-16

  • Kat Lucas

The coronavirus outbreak is causing countless games across the world to be either played behind closed doors or suspended altogether. 

Serie A has now been temporarily called off and there are serious doubts about how the rest of the season will pan out elsewhere too. 

Numerous matches in this week’s Champions League and Europa League are being played in an empty stadium, including Paris Saint-Germain vs Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona vs Napoli and Olympiacos vs Wolves. LASK vs Manchester United is expected to follow. 

European football arguably represents even more of a challenge for authorities than domestic fixtures. It sees fans, players and staff travelling across the continent and in many cases, even bigger crowds of people which could add to the risk of the virus spreading. 

Deciding whether games should be cancelled or simply played without supporters being present is a very delicate balancing act for the likes of UEFA. That’s especially true at such short notice, with several games being played tonight. 

With that in mind, it’s now being reported that the governing body could suspend the Champions League after the round of 16. 

The Sun have referenced reports coming out of Catalunya Radio which state that once the current round of fixtures have been completed, the latter rounds of the competition could be put on hold. 

That would have significant ramifications for the rest of the domestic season in the European leagues too, with possible fixture pile-up or games not being completed at all. 

The situation is still very uncertain regarding the outbreak and like the rest of the football world watching on, we can only wait and see how it unfolds. 

While it would be hugely disappointing to see the Champions League called off until further notice, the health of everyone involved has to come first and UEFA won’t be making the decision lightly. 

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