UEFA has postponed all Champions League and Europa League matches scheduled to take place next week due to the spread of COVID-19.
European football’s governing body will stage a video conference on Tuesday, March 17, to discuss how its club competitions and Euro 2020 might proceed in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, it has opted for immediate action due to the rapidly developing situation, with UEFA Youth League matches and the proposed quarter-final draws for the Champions League and Europa League on March 20 also called off.
“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,” a statement from the organisation read.
“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.”
Next Tuesday’s scheduled Manchester City v Real Madrid and Juventus v Lyon matches had already been postponed, following Madrid placing their squad in quarantine and Juve defender Daniele Rugani testing positive for coronavirus.
A City player, reported to be Benjamin Mendy, has since self-isolated as a precaution after a family member was hospitalised.
Of the remaining fixtures, Barcelona v Napoli was slated to take place behind closed doors, even though both LaLiga and Serie A are currently suspended, while Chelsea’s capacity to play their return leg against Bayern Munich was thrown into huge doubt by Callum Hudson-Odoi’s positive COVID-19 test.
Ligue 1 on Friday suspended operations until further notice, with the Premier League expected to follow France’s top flight in announcing a hiatus of its own.