UEFA confirm decision to postpone Champions League and Europa League

UEFA has postponed the Champions League and Europa League until further notice.

But Mirror Sport understands that European football’s governing body is determined to play the games – once the domestic seasons are completed.

And furthermore, they want to play them in stadiums with fans and are reluctant to go behind closed doors, as UEFA president Alexander Ceferin has already confirmed.

All international fixtures in June are now off, including play-off matches for Euro 2020, which has been moved to 2021.

In a full statement after Monday's UEFA video conference with 55 national associations – including the FA’s Mark Bullingham – these were the key points:

The deadlines related to all 2020/21 UEFA club competitions are postponed until further notice, in particular as regards the admission process and the registration of players. UEFA will set new deadlines in due course. 

Following the video conference meeting with the general secretaries of all 55 UEFA member associations and recommendations made by the working groups created on 17 March, the UEFA Executive Committee took a series of decisions, as follows:

• All national team matches for men and women due to be played in June 2020 are postponed until further notice. This includes the play-off matches for UEFA EURO 2020 and qualifying matches for UEFA Women’s EURO 2021.

• All other UEFA competition matches, including the centralised international friendly matches, remain postponed until further notice.

• Youth national team competitions:

(i) the UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament scheduled for May 2020 is cancelled;

(ii) the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship final tournament scheduled for July 2020 is cancelled;

(iii) the UEFA European Women’s Under-17 Championship final tournament scheduled for May 2020 is postponed until further notice (as it is a qualifying competition for the FIFA U 17 Women's World Cup);

(iv) the UEFA European Under-19 Championship final tournament scheduled for July 2020 is postponed until further notice (as it is a qualifying competition for the FIFA U-20 World Cup).

• The UEFA Futsal Champions League finals scheduled for April 2020 are postponed until further notice.

• The deadlines related to all 2020/21 UEFA club competitions are postponed until further notice, in particular as regards the admission process and the registration of players. UEFA will set new deadlines in due course.

On club licensing and financial fair play matters:

The Executive Committee reiterated its full commitment to club licensing and financial fair play and agreed that the current exceptional circumstances necessitate some specific interventions to facilitate the work of member associations and clubs.

It supports the proposal to give member associations more time to complete the club licensing process, until the admission process for next season’s UEFA club competitions has been redefined.

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Neil Lennon details only black mark on Celtic squad in 2020 so far

Neil Lennon insists Celtic ’s European woe is the only black mark on what has been a brilliant season so far.

The Hoops were on course for a record-equaling ninth successive Scottish Premiership title before the coronavirus outbreak struck.

Since losing to bitter rivals Rangers in their last Old firm game last last year Lennon’s men have boasted an almost perfect domestic record.

And that left them 13 points ahead of the Gers before all fixtures were postponed due to COVID-19, while they were still on for another domestic treble.

However, there was Europa League disappointment in the last 32 when Celtic suffered a surprise defeat at home to Copenhagen.

This followed an exit in the Champions League qualifiers at the start of the season after there were high hopes for the team.

And while Lennon praised his players for their imperious form once again for the most part, their European exploits have clearly left a bitter taste.

Reflecting on Celtic’s form since returning from a winter break in Dubai, Lennon said: “What’s pleased me has been the quality of our performances. Even if you look at our last game against St Mirren when we beat them 5-0.

“To do that at this stage of the season is pretty impressive because we were struggling to score goals this time last year, so the amount of goals we’ve scored and the amount of wins we’ve racked up is impressive.

“And since the turn of the year, to go unbeaten domestically and only drop two points is fantastic, and we reached the semi-final of the Scottish Cup – we’ve already won the League Cup – so it just shows how well we’ve played.

“You can’t take that for granted, and we had the European campaign, on top of that. It’s been pretty impressive, to say the least, from the players and I’m so proud of them.

“The only disappointment to me, really, was going out of Europe the way we did. That was really disappointing because we really felt we could make inroads into the competition.”

Celtic will be hoping to seal the title shortly after things get back to normal after coronavirus lockdown is lifted.

Should they go on to win the league then it sets up what could be a historical season next year as they look for an unprecedented 10 in a row.

  • Celtic FC
  • Neil Lennon
  • Europa League

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LASK vs Manchester United predicted line-ups: Team news for Premier League fixture tonight

Manchester United‘s Europa League campaign continues on Thursday night as they travel to Austria to face LASK.

The match will be played behind closed doors in accordance with advice from the Austrian government.

United progressed to the round of 16 after beating Club Brugge, while LASK saw off AZ Alkmaar to reach this stage.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been in improved form of late and will be confident of putting themselves in a strong position to reach the last eight in the second leg.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off in Linz:

When is the match?

Kick-off is at 5:55pm on Thursday, 12 March.

How can I watch and stream it?

The game will be broadcast on BT Sport 2.

Subscribers will be able to stream the match online via the BT Sport app or website.

Team news

LASK are without suspended duo Petar Filipovic and Philipp Wiesinger. Wing-back Marvin Potzmann is also injured.

United have habitually rotated in Europe under Ole Gunna Solskjaer and he may do the same after beating Man City last time out.

Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford are injured. Anthony Martial did not travel with the squad to Austria, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Diogo Dalot and Jesse Lingard also missing out.

Predicted line-ups

LASK: Schlager, Trauner, Ramsebner, Wostry, Ranftl, Holland, Michorl, Renner, Frieser, Goiginger, Raguz

Man United: Romero, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Mata, Fernandes, Greenwood, Ighalo

Prediction

If United go with a strong lineup they should have enough to get a result in Austria. 1-2 at the end of the first leg.

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LASK vs Manchester United prediction: How will Europa League fixture play out tonight?

Manchester United travel to Austria for the first leg of their Europa League round of 16 clash with LASK on Thursday.

As with several other matches throughout UEFA competitions this week, the game will take place without fans in the stadium.

United’s improved recent form has seen them win four of their last five games in all competitions, with just one goal conceded in that time.

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LASK knocked out Dutch side AZ Alkmaar in the last round, while United saw off Belgian outfit Club Brugge.

Here’s everything you need to know ahead of kick-off in Linz:

When is the match?

Kick-off is at 5:55pm on Thursday, 12 March.

How can I watch and stream it?

The game will be broadcast on BT Sport 2.

Subscribers will be able to stream the match online via the BT Sport app or website.

Team news

LASK are without suspended duo Petar Filipovic and Philipp Wiesinger. Wing-back Marvin Potzmann is also injured.

United have habitually rotated in Europe under Ole Gunna Solskjaer and he may do the same after beating Man City last time out.

Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford are injured. Anthony Martial did not travel with the squad to Austria, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Diogo Dalot and Jesse Lingard also missing out.

Predicted line-ups

LASK: Schlager, Trauner, Ramsebner, Wostry, Ranftl, Holland, Michorl, Renner, Frieser, Goiginger, Raguz

Man United: Romero, Tuanzebe, Bailly, Maguire, Shaw, McTominay, Fred, Mata, Fernandes, Greenwood, Ighalo

Prediction

If United go with a strong lineup they should have enough to get a result in Austria. 1-2 at the end of the first leg.

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