Despite initial plans that UEFA Champions League games would continue without an audience, the UEFA has issued an announcement today temporarily postponing all UEFA club matches taking place next week.
Here was the statement made on the official UEFA website:
“In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed.
This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League, Round of 16 second leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020.
Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course.
As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.
UEFA yesterday invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to a videoconference meeting on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak.”
This follows news that all basketball games in the BBL and EuroLeague would also be suspended until further notice. Here is the announcement from the official FC Bayern Basketball website:
“FCBB’s season has been suspended until further notice. On Thursday morning, the EuroLeague announced that it would be suspending its season until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Basketball Bundesliga followed suit on Thursday afternoon. During a meeting of the easyCredit BBL in Stuttgart, the steering committee and the CEOs of the league’s 17 teams responded to recent developments in the virus’ spread that have had an impact on the sporting world.
Representatives from the BBL will meet again within the next 14 days in order to reassess the situation and evaluate any further options. The Free State of Bavaria announced on Wednesday that any events with more than 1,000 attendees would be cancelled until 19th April. The current aim is to resume the season at a later date, circumstances permitting.
FC Bayern Basketball welcomes this step, as there is currently no alternative available that would help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. “Cancelling the season now would not be an issue for the clubs, but on the other hand, suspending the competition also makes sense in order for us to meet our social responsibilities,” said Bayern’s managing director Marko Pesic.
The German champions did not travel as planned on Thursday ahead of Friday’s EuroLeague match against Khimki Moscow. The agenda for the upcoming days and weeks will be discussed at an internal team meeting on Friday.
Given the developing situation, FCBB has suspended ticket sales for all EuroLeague and BBL home games at the Audi Dome. Tickets that have already been bought will remain valid for the time being. “
The German Ice Hockey League also announced the premature end of their season earlier this week, meaning no German championship would be crowned this year. Here is a translated version of their official statement here:
“The German Ice Hockey League (DEL) is forced to end the current season early with immediate effect. The upcoming playoffs can no longer be carried out. The reason for this are the bans of various federal states, large events such as DEL games with more than 1000 spectators. The DEL also follows the official recommendations of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Health Jens Spahn, which have now been implemented in the official bans.
“We are extremely sorry for all clubs, partners and especially fans all over Germany that we have to make this decision. However, given the current developments, we have a duty to deal with the situation responsibly. We at DEL focus on the health of our fans, players and employees, ”said Gernot Tripcke, CEO of DEL.
Due to the premature end of the season, there is no German champion this year. As the main round winner, the EHC Red Bull Munich, together with the Adler Mannheim, the Straubing Tigers and the Eisbären Berlin, represents the DEL in the Champions Hockey League (CHL 2020/21).”