The ongoing coronavirus pandemic could wreak havoc with the footballing schedule as far down the line as the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, according to one UEFA chief.
Coronavirus could hit the World Cup
Football is currently in a complete shutdown due to the impact of the virus worldwide, with no resumption on the horizon and some top European leagues already calling a halt to the 2019-20 campaign.
Lars-Christer Olsson, president of European Leagues, said that it would be a case of “wait and see” to assess the disruption of the pandemic, including on the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
Following the widespread suspension of football and the postponement of Euro 2020 1, he was asked on a Soccerex webinar how long he thought that the international calendar could be affected.
“Probably two or three years I think,” he said.
“If the virus is developing in an even more serious way as it has been for the time being there will definitely be a problem with the international calendar,”.
“When some of the competitions are moved from one year to another. And then the Qatar World Cup is coming in the middle of the European season and you have to squeeze in domestic and international competitions. But I think we have to wait and see how that is going to affect the business.”
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is currently scheduled to take place from November 21 to December 18, putting domestic competitions on hold for a month before Christmas.
On the domestic football front, UEFA is planning to complete the current Champions League and Europa League programmes in August.
France’s top two divisions, Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, will not resume this season after France banned all sporting events, including those behind closed doors, until September.
The Dutch top-flight was also abandoned last week with no promotion or relegation and no champions.
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