UEFA lets postponed Champions League games be played in January

The knockout stages don’t begin until mid-February; UEFA will allow time to complete any fixtures postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The draw for the first knockout round in both the Champions League and Europa League is set to be held on December 14 in Nyon, Switzerland.   -  AP

UEFA will let Champions League group-stage games be played deep into January to complete any fixtures postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA ratified emergency competition rules on Thursday that allow for seven extra weeks to make up games beyond the scheduled sixth and final round of fixtures on December 9. Any game which cannot be played by January 28 will be forfeited as a 3-0 loss by the team responsible for the failure. The same rules apply to the Europa League.

Several clubs whose players tested positive for COVID-19 and had squads isolated in quarantine have forfeited games in recent weeks during the tightly scheduled qualifying rounds when there was little chance to reschedule games. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld UEFA’s decisions.

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The draw for the first knockout round in both competitions is set to be held on December 14 at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. But since the knockout stages don’t begin until mid-February, UEFA will allow time to reschedule games.

UEFA also detailed how compensation could be paid to a home team if a group-stage game must be played in a neutral country because of travel restrictions imposed by the away team’s home nation. The compensation could amount to 10 percent of the fixed starting fee that UEFA pays to each club that qualifies - equivalent to EUR 1.45 million (USD 1.7 million) in the Champions League, and EUR 275,000 (USD 320,000) in the Europa League.

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