Champions League and Europa League finals postponed due to coronavirus pandemic
The showpiece finals were due to take place in May, but instead become the latest sporting events to be postponed due to the outbreak
The Women’s Champions League final has also been postponed.
The decision was widely expected given the scale of the pandemic, but was formally taken by a working group set up by UEFA in response to the outbreak.
The group, comprising of representatives of European clubs and leagues, made the decision in a video conference chaired by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
No decision has yet been taken on alternative dates given the situation across Europe is still so uncertain.
“The working group will analyse the options available,” read a UEFA statement. “The group has already begun its examination of the calendar. Announcements will be made in due course.”
The Champions League final was originally scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 30 at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Europa League final was meant to take place in the Polish city of Gdansk on Wednesday May 27, while the Women’s Champions League final was scheduled for Saturday, May 24 at Viola Park in Vienna, Austria.
UEFA had already taken the decision to postpone this summer’s European Championship by 12 months to give European leagues time to complete their seasons.
Leagues across the continent, and indeed around the world, have been shut down in an attempt to limit the spread of the virus.
La Liga and Ligue 1 are suspended indefinitely, while the Premier league, Women’s Super League, Serie A and Bundesliga have all tentatively suggested they could return in April, though that seems almost certain to be pushed back further given the pandemic still appears to be accelerating.
The Champions League and Europa League were halted at the round of 16 stage, with 14 last-16 ties across the two competitions still to be completed.
The Women’s Champions League had reached the quarter-final stage before the competition was postponed, with all eight ties still to be played.
Even if football was able to resume next month there would be precious little time to complete the remaining fixtures in time for the original final dates, making the decision to postpone them an inevitability.