Uefa 'strongly recommend' leagues finish but will allow for 'special cases'

Rangers could be playing in two seasons simultaneously if the Premiership is curtailed and Europa League continues
Rangers could be playing in two seasons simultaneously if the Premiership is curtailed and Europa League continues

Uefa says leagues and domestic cups could be cancelled "in special cases" but recommend they be completed.

The SPFL has the power to curtail the Scottish Premiership after clubs passed a resolution to end the lower leagues.

Earlier this month, Uefa warned leagues that ending competitions early could result in access to Champions League and Europa League being denied.

But the governing body has softened its stance after Tuesday's conference call with its 55 member associations.

It was not explicitly outlined what "special cases" would mean. However, Uefa expects leagues to come to it with their reasons for wanting a season to be ended prematurely.

And its statement made clear that leagues should be completed where possible. The Belgian Pro League became the first major European league to be cancelled because of coronavirus on 15 April.

"There was a strong recommendation given to finish domestic top division and cup competitions," a Uefa statement said.

"But some special cases will be heard once guidelines concerning participation to European competitions - in case of a cancelled league - have been developed."

The organisation is still planning for a June restart, and added that any decisions on cancelling leagues would not be announced until after a Uefa executive committee meeting on Thursday.

Potential complications if SPFL end season

Uefa is hoping to complete its own tournaments in the normal two-legged format but one-off games, and a week-long mini-tournament from the quarter-finals onwards for both the Champions League and Europa League, have also been discussed.

This could cause complications in Scotland, with Rangers still to play the second leg of their Europa League last-16 tie against Bayer Leverkusen after a 3-1 loss at Ibrox.

If the SPFL were to end the Premiership and start a new season, Rangers could effectively be playing in two different campaigns simultaneously should the Europa League continue.

It is unclear what would happen to player registrations, which need to be refreshed at the start of each new season.

No changes have been made so far to the international calendar, with all matches currently postponed until September.

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