UEFA have announced that all Champions League and Europa League matches set for next week have now been postponed amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Manchester City’s match with Real Madrid and Juventus’ clash with Lyon had already been suspended, but Wednesday and Thursday’s ties have all now been affected.
That means Bayern Munich vs Chelsea and Barcelona vs Napoli will no longer go ahead behind closed doors as planned, while Man Utd, Wolves, Inter, Roma and many others will see their games rescheduled.
In a statement released on Friday morning, UEFA said: “In the light of developments due to the spread of Covid-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled next week are postponed.
“This includes the remaining UEFA Champions League, Round of 16 second-leg matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020; all UEFA Europa League, Round of 16 second-leg matches scheduled on 19 March 2020; all UEFA Youth League, quarter-final matches scheduled on 17 and 18 March 2020.
“Further decisions on when these matches take place will be communicated in due course.
“As a consequence of the postponements, the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League quarter-final draws scheduled for 20 March have also been postponed.
“UEFA yesterday invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to a videoconference meeting on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak.”
UEFA had been one of the very few governing bodies left to call a temporary halt to match action, with Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga, France’s Ligue 1, and Netherlands’ Eredivisie all having suspended play.
The English Premier League was also added to that list on Friday, with the FA releasing the following statement:
“The FA, Premier League, EFL and Barclays FA Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship have collectively agreed to postpone the professional game in England until 3 April at the earliest.”
The German Bundesliga is still set to go ahead, at least in some capacity, with the DFL announcing that Bayern Munich’s away trip to Union Berlin will go ahead as planned.
Bayern and Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara labelled the decision “irresponsible and imprudent”.