The Union of European Football Associations’ Executive Committee has approved new rules for 2020/21 club competitions in relation to COVID-19.
The rules cover venue and country restrictions, testing and player eligibility, the completion of the qualifying phase and play-offs and deadlines for protests and appeals. The regulations apply to the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and 2020/21 UEFA Europa League.
UEFA has decided that if restrictions in a home club’s nation will affect the visiting team then the home club will need to find a different venue. The venue may be in another country where restrictions will not apply to the participating teams.
Clubs that do not find a suitable alternative venue will be held accountable by UEFA for the match not being played and will forfeit the match as a 3-0 loss.
A minimum of 13 players on a club’s A list need to be available (having tested negative for COVID-19 or not being required to go into quarantine) for the match to be played. At least one goalkeeper needs to be apart of the 13 available players.
UEFA said that they may allow for matches to be rescheduled if less than 13 players are available. However, if the match cannot be rescheduled, the club that had less than the required number of players available will forfeit the match and will recorded a 3-0 loss.
“If one or more players or officials of a club test positive for COVID-19 in the tests required by the UEFA Return to Play Protocol, the match will take place as scheduled unless the national/local authorities of one or both clubs involved or of where the match will take place (in case of a neutral country) require a large group of players or the entire team to go into quarantine,” UEFA said in the Annex I – Special rules applicable to the qualifying phase and play-offs due to COVID-19 release.
“UEFA will publish before each draw the list of known travel restrictions between countries, e.g. border closures and quarantine requirements.
“By 24:00 CET two days prior to the relevant draw clubs must – after consultation with their respective national association and national/local authorities – inform in writing the UEFA administration whether such known restrictions apply or if other previously unknown restrictions have been imposed by their respective national/local authorities that would impact the clubs’ travelling.”
The 2019/20 UEFA Champions League restarts on August 8.