Football with fans will come back very soon, predicts UEFA’s Ceferin
Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin is confident fans will be able to return to stadiums “sooner than many think” as football attempts to emerge from the chaos created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Domestic and continental club competitions were halted across Europe in mid-March due to the Covid-19 crisis and Euro 2020 was postponed.
The Bundesliga made a successful return to action behind closed doors at the weekend and many other leagues are preparing to resume in front of empty stands, with Ceferin sure the situation will soon improve.
Asked whether he was sure that Euro 2020 would be played in 2021, the chief of European football’s governing body told The Guardian: “Yes. I don’t know why it wouldn’t be.
“I don’t think that this virus will last forever. I think it will [change] sooner than many think.
“I don’t like this apocalyptic view that we have to wait for the second and third waves or even a fifth wave.”
Ceferin said football would follow the recommendations of the authorities but he was optimistic that normal service could be resumed in the near future.
“I’m absolutely sure, personally, that good old football with fans will come back very soon,” he said.
And Ceferin said he did not expect the game to be profoundly changed by the coronavirus.
“Football didn’t change after the Second World War or First World War, and it will not change because of a virus either,” he said.
Despite his optimistic outlook, Ceferin has admitted the current crisis has given him sleepless nights, with Uefa set to lose “millions and millions” of dollars after the season came to a halt.
“There is so much information [to take in] and so many calendar issues. So many millions and millions, dozens of millions of dollars, that we will lose,” he said.
“It’s then hard to fall asleep at night. You would be quite irresponsible if you could fall asleep immediately.
“The situation for Uefa is not that alarming, we’re not in a dangerous situation, but we still care about the clubs and the leagues and the stakeholders so it is a lot of work.”