Tuesday,
12
may
2020

23:16

The confinement to which travelers entering Spain will have to submit, in addition to border restrictions in other countries, make it difficult to conclude European tournaments. Exceptions may apply for athletes


Manchester City’s stadium, the Etihad Stadium, in a Champions League match.
PETER POWELLEFE

  • Brussels.
    Reception of the forced quarantine of Spain to tourists

The plan was clear. Between June and July, the national leagues for ace must be concluded, once the first problem has been settled, both the Champions League and the Europa League can be concluded in the four weeks of August. However,pessimism is increasing in clubsregarding the possibility of being able to play the last rounds of the two continental tournaments in competition.

The restrictions on travelers imposed in Spain or the United Kingdom, where citizens arriving from abroad will have to comply with a quarantine of 14 days once they arrive in their territory, make European competitions unfeasible for now.UEFA, however, seek pacts with pass governments with affected clubs to save their crown jewels.. As long as these measures continue to be in force in August.

Considering the large number of countries involved both in the Champions League (Spain, Italy, Germany, France and England), and in the Europa League (Switzerland, Turkey, Denmark, Ukraine, Austria and Greece), it is difficult to forecast the free movement of footballers without agreements at the highest level in between.And if these covenants are not reached, perhaps there is no other choice but to think about the next season, sources familiar with the problem admit to this newspaper.

Exceptions

The Ministerial Order SND / 403/2020 published yesterday in the Official State Gazette was nothing more than the confirmation of the enormous difficulties that UEFA will have to overcome to continue with the Champions League.From this Friday, May 15, and during the time that the state of alarm is in force (for now until the next day 24, but still pending its hypothetical extensions), people from abroad must be quarantined for the following 14 days upon arrival, they must remain in your home or accommodation. The Minister of Health, Salvador Illa, even added yesterday that these measures could very likely last throughout the period of de-escalation.

The ministerial order published in the BOEonly excludes from these measures cross-border workers, carriers and crews, as well as health professionals heading to work, as long as they have not been in contact with people diagnosed with Covid-19.

“Specific solutions”

It is still too early to resolve on issues that will occur in August. But, if necessary,Specific solutions for certain groups cannot be ruled out.At the time it would be studied how to carry it all out, government sources warned this newspaper yesterday before the impossibility that the footballers of the European clubs could play in Spain if they had to keep a period of quarantine upon arrival.

From the Government, in addition, they give as an example the special sensitivity shown with regard to athletes and the health plan designed with the League to play from June on the remaining days of the league championship. ANDwith a competition protocol in which the teams can move throughout the Spanish territory, whatever their de-escalation phase, but under strict safety regulations on your trips by bus, train or plane.

The five Spanish teams that continue in continental competition (Real Madrid, Barcelona, ​​Atlético, Sevilla and Getafe) remain in expectation. Although no one dares to advance events, they curiously attend to the decisions that are being made in the rest of Europe. Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Glasgow Rangersare awaiting the British government to exempt lite athletes from the quarantine periodin order to receive rivals at their stadium in the remaining rounds.

The case of the United Kingdom

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in hisCovid-19 Recovery Strategy Document, already admitted the possibility of includingsmall exceptionsas for the 14 days of quarantine for travelers to be imposed this month. His executive is expected to do more about it later this week in a country that is still far from controlling the pandemic and that has already counted more than 32,000 deaths.

In any case, the United Kingdom and France[donde no podrn jugar PSG y Olympique de Lyon hasta septiembre por orden del gobierno de Macron]have agreed on their ownan air bridge without restrictions. This Tuesday, in addition, the European Commission will present its plan on the progressive reopening of borders and the mobility of people across the continent. In Denmark, meanwhile, foreign citizens without a residence permit are still prohibited from entering the country.

Problems with a single venue

The UEFA working group plans to meet again this Wednesday to continue studying different scenarios to advance both the Champions League and the Europa League.The highest European body does not see anything clear to take the competitions to a single venue, where all the clubs involved could confine their players until the end of their participation. The extreme difficulty in finding a country that meets all the sanitary requirements makes this possibility unfeasible. I know that the option of shortening tournaments is still on the table, with knockouts to a single match. Although the priority of the highest European body continues to be to try to conclude with the original format. And if the clubs cannot access a specific country, reach special agreements with the authorities.

Historically, UEFA has already had to face cases in which footballers could not cross the borders of a country. Like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who was unable to play the 2019 Europa League final with Arsenal in Bak as the Armenian population was banned in Azerbaijan. Or even the French Serge Aurier, who was denied a visa by the British authorities in 2016 for having a criminal record.

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