Berlin (dpa) – Neutral play, reshuffle and mini-squad: In view of the corona pandemic, the European Football Association has issued a number of “specific provisions” for the group stages of the European Cup competitions.
FC Bayern, where Serge Gnabry tested positive for the corona virus, but also Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Borussia Mönchengladbach could also be affected – possibly even hosting top matches without German participation.
“All clubs participating in the group stage must do their utmost to make their UEFA-confirmed location available as a neutral venue for other matches, if necessary,” UEFA said. If Premier League matches have to be postponed due to local corona restrictions, inquiries can also be made with Bundesliga clubs. However, the tightly timed playing calendar offers hardly any alternatives.
The last group match day is scheduled for December 8 and 9. However, as a precaution, UEFA allows the preliminary round to be completed on January 28, 2021 this year. If that does not work, the UEFA Executive Committee will determine the “principles” for determining the knockout participants in the Champions League and Europa League.
If national regulations prevent hosting a match, the home club is usually responsible for finding an alternative date and / or venue. Even if the visiting club’s country makes it impossible to travel to the game. But then the costs are shared. In principle, all clubs should strive to obtain “exemptions from existing travel restrictions such as border closures and quarantine rules”.
Positive corona tests within the team do not necessarily lead to a match cancellation. If at least 13 players are available (including at least one goalkeeper), the match must be played on the scheduled date. However, this would be avoided by, for example, ordering a quarantine for the whole team by the authorities.
The clubs also have the option to reregister players who are not registered for the European Cup. New agreements with players who subsequently tested negative are possible. If that fails, the responsible club loses the game at the green table.
If a member of the referee team tests positive for the coronavirus, UEFA reserves the right to appoint replacement referees, who may also be from the country of one of the clubs involved in the match.
In principle, spectators are admitted to the games, a maximum of 30 percent of the stadium capacity may be used. Road fans are not allowed. However, recent days in the Bundesliga alone have shown that on rare occasions several thousand spectators will be seen in the stadiums. Conditions are also that all visitors keep their distance and wear mouth and nose protection. The local health authorities have the final say.