UEFA figure Michele Uva gives clarity on league decision process for Celtic and co

By David Walton

March 29, 2020

UEFA Vice-President Michele Uva has provided some clarity on the league decision process – claiming that it’s down to the member associations themselves as to what to do next.

The league season in Scotland has been suspended temporarily given the current health crisis. As things stand, there is no end to the suspension in sight given the country is on lockdown.

As you would imagine, that’s led to plenty of opinions showering in regarding what should happen with the league title. Plenty of players, pundits, fans, and clubs themselves have been giving their verdict. But UEFA are keen to stay out of making the final decision, despite urging all associations to wrap up their leagues by June 30th (Daily Record).

Michele Uva (Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

And speaking today in comments published by Sportmediaset, Uva confirmed that UEFA don’t intend to intrude on official league decisions.

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“It’s not a matter for us, it will be up to each league to decide. The only issue concerns those players who have contracts or loans expiring on June 30, but that isn’t a matter for UEFA, which will only ask for the list of teams that will participate in the next European competitions by a certain date.

“Now we’re the guide and a point of coordination for federations, clubs and leagues that are living through completely different situations given the different levels of contagion of the coronavirus.”

SFA/SPFL clearly in no rush

It doesn’t look as though a decision on the league will be made anytime soon in all honesty – especially considering there hasn’t been a peep from the SFA or SPFL about future plans regarding meetings or indicators on when a decision will be made.

Matters will also have been helped by UEFA President Aleksandar Ceferin’s comments yesterday too. He told La Repubblica that one of the options being considered is to finish off this season at the start of next season. That would then push back the 2020/21 campaign for a couple of months.

That would also mean that UEFA would extend its deadline for associations to submit the sides playing in European competitions next season. That date that Uva mentions has yet to be announced of course given the current crisis.

Hampden Stadium entrance (Oliver Hardt – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

At this stage, that would seem like the most logical step from a Scottish and indeed British perspective. The UK government are reviewing the lockdown measures in just under two weeks (BBC). It feels unlikely that things will be lifted by that point. However, even if they are, when will it become socially acceptable to re-open 60k-seater stadiums again?

It could be a long time before that’s deemed appropriate. Every country will be different, but the prospect of finishing leagues in June seems a ridiculously ambitious stretch. It gets more and more ridiculous the deeper we go into this global pandemic.

It looks as though UEFA are seeing sense and willing to push back their deadlines. Ultimately, however, it’s down to the Scottish authorities to decide what decision will be final.