A mini-tournament will be one option put forward to ease the Champions League and Europa League fixture congestion caused by the coronavirus outbreak.
UEFA is hosting a video conference with major stakeholders this Thursday. As well, Euro 2020 is set to be postponed to allow league season completion.
In order to reach this decision, all parties must be ready to sacrifice something.
How mini-tournament will work
As with the Premier League, UEFA wants the Champions League and Europa League to reach a conclusion. This because they also have major broadcasting contracts to satisfy.
Both tournaments are at their last-16 stage including the final. There are still 14 last-16 ties across the two competitions to be completed.
Playing the quarter-finals and semi-finals as one-off games would cut two fixtures off the remaining schedule. Playing them over a handful of days as a mini-tournament would concentrate the matches even further. The situation will cut down on travel and cause the least disruption to the domestic leagues.
It has not been ruled out if these games could be played in conjunction with league matches nor does the Champions League final have to mark the end of the club campaign.
Moving Euro 2020 to next summer would also free up more time to complete domestic and European fixtures. However, that would then impact on next year’s calendar.
The men’ European Under-21 Championship in Hungary and Slovenia are scheduled for 2021 summer. The Nations League, the draw for which was held earlier in March is due to be completed next spring.
In addition, the first edition of the expanded FIFA Club World Cup is set to be held in China in June.
Currently, the big domestic leagues have problems over television contracts to solve if games do not take place. Most countries rely on the payments from Uefa that come out of major international tournaments to allow their own leagues to function properly. These would be at risk from any movement of the European Championship and are likely to form part of any agreement.
Uefa has an estimated 400 staff working on the Euros. It is therefore unknown what will happen to them if the tournament does not take place for another 12 months.
The situation is not made any easier by not knowing when football will be able to resume. Nonetheless, Uefa accepts it is impossible to know when current travel restrictions will be lifted but it cannot wait until they are to draft a plan.