UEFA on Thursday announced that the Champions League and Europa League matches will be suspended due to the threat of coronavirus outbreak.
The games between Manchester City and Real Madrid, and Juventus and Lyon were already postponed earlier this week, while Barcelona and Bayern Munich were supposed to play their home games against Napoli and Chelsea respectively behind closed doors.
The decision was unprecedented, but it was the inevitable turn of events due to the rapid spread of novel Covid-19 that saw most of the major sporting events in the world shutting down. At the moment when people’s lives are at risk and we face an uncertain future, sport is definitely a secondary thing.
UEFA ‘s statement read: A statement read: “In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed.
“This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League, Round of 16-second leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League, Round of 16-second leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020.
“Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course. “As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.”
“UEFA yesterday invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to a videoconference meeting on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak.”
With the outbreak showing no signs of slowing down, the European governing body is also expected to announce the postponement of Euro 2020, most probably to the summer of 2021.
More football getting hit:
The English FA also confirmed that all the football fixtures in England, including the Premier League and the Championship, will be suspended till April 3. A new decision will be taken on the new dates if the impact of virus subsides.