Football Uefa says Aug 3 not hard deadline amid Ligue 1 row – The Straits Times

Uefa says Aug 3 not hard deadline amid Ligue 1 row – The Straits Times

PARIS • An Aug 3 deadline to complete the suspended football season was only a recommendation and “not official”, according to Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin amid an ongoing row over the decision to call a premature end to the campaign in France.

In a letter sent to the Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas on May 14 – revealed by French daily Le Parisien and of which AFP obtained a copy – he explained that European football’s governing body had discussed setting an Aug 3 deadline for countries to finish their domestic leagues.

The date was cited as the latest for the top 15 European leagues, including France, to finish seasons which ground to a halt in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The date for lower-ranked competitions was July 20.

“However, we always mentioned during those meetings that these dates were recommended and tentative, not official,” Ceferin wrote.

Referring to a Uefa meeting on April 23 setting out a way forward for suspended leagues, the head of European football’s governing body emphasised that the aim was to play on wherever possible.

“Uefa’s recommendation was… clearly to encourage the national associations and leagues to do their utmost to finish the ongoing domestic championships, either in the original format or an adapted format, if necessary,” he wrote.

However, the French league (LFP) called an end to its season on April 30 with