July 21 – UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin says Covid-19 has had a worse effect on football than during the Second World War.
Ceferin is interviewed in the forthcoming edition of UEFA’s Direct magazine in which he talks about leading European football’s governing body during the current crisis.
He explains how the spirit of solidarity and sacrifice shown by football’s various stakeholders offers a positive lesson for the future. But he also puts the hardships that have enveloped the game into stark perspective.
“These recent months have obviously been a period of great uncertainty for everyone,” says Ceferin.
Asked to comment on the fact that football has had its longest period of inactivity since the war, he replied: “Well, you must remember that the Second World War didn’t actually stop football completely, unlike the COVID-19 crisis.”
Ceferin said he was always confident that the Champions League and Europa League would be fought to their conclusion, even if the timing has been altered, the format totally changed and both mini-tournaments to be played behind closed doors.
“I believed it from the first moment. You should always be optimistic, and if something like this crisis happens, you must have a plan ready. At the present time, we will be playing matches without spectators until further notice. We will not take any risks.”
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