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Ceferin: Football ready to be played behind closed doors

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Aleksander Ceferin,
Aleksander Ceferin

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is convinced that football is ready to make a return. COVID-19 forced the suspension of the 2019/20 season, but UEFA are happy that things can get back underway soon, though not in perfect circumstances.

“The priority remains the health of fans, players and everyone else,” Ceferin told Corriere della Sera.

“But there are ways to play again and my optimistic nature tells me that seasons will be finished. “Yes, it’ll be without fans. But I think it’s good that football can give fans some happiness with a sense of normality.

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“We’re ready for football without fans.”

Ceferin has considered the idea of 2019/20 not reaching a conclusion, though he doesn’t feel that would be satisfactory for anyone.

“Of course there’s the possibility of not finishing the season,” he acknowledged.

“But it’d be terrible for clubs and the leagues. “That’s why we postponed the European Championship until 2021. “I think both leagues and European competitions will be played.

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“There’s no deadline for the Champions League final – it depends on when the leagues start again. “I’m hoping it will return in September.”

Although football without fans appears to be the short-term step, Ceferin said that it will be good to get playing again and that full stadiums will make a return in time.

“It’ll be without fans,” he said. “It’s true that football is made to be with fans, but at least we can take it into people’s homes.

“Special measures will be in place for a while, but full stadiums will return.”


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