UEFA will decide European qualification on sporting merit

Date published: Thursday 23rd April 2020 2:44

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Sporting merit will be decisive in how places in next season’s European competitions are awarded where a league has been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The UEFA executive committee has concluded and the PA news agency understands domestic on-field performance up to the point of suspension will be the guiding principle used in competitions that cannot be completed.

European football’s governing body is set to release guidelines later on Thursday on how to handle “special cases” where leagues cannot be completed, but it remains UEFA’s “strong recommendation” that competitions are played to a finish wherever possible.

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How sporting merit will be defined is not yet clear, but may be a system based on points per game.

UEFA has moved to ease the financial pressure on European clubs caused by the coronavirus pandemic by releasing 70 million euros worth of benefit payments related to Euro 2020 immediately.

The governing body announced that 50 million euros (over £43m) will be given to clubs that released players to the 39 countries that did not qualify for the delayed finals or reach the play-offs.

A further 17.7m euros (almost £15.5m) will be given to clubs that released players during regular qualifying to the 16 countries which will take part in the play-offs, while 2.7m euros (around £2.4m) will be distributed upon completion of the matches in the autumn in respect of players being released to play in the play-off matches themselves.

The payments were originally due to be made upon completion of the play-offs, which had been scheduled for March prior to the Covid-19 outbreak.

The payments will range from 3,200 euros up to 630,000 euros and will benefit 676 clubs in total across all UEFA’s 55 member countries.


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