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UEFA, WHO deny rumors of canceling football through 2021, gifting Arsenal a Champions League spot

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So much nonsense out there

UEFA Champions League Matchball and Protective Face Mask Photo by Visionhaus

A random story from Brazil about football getting canceled not just this season but next as well, gained so much traction that the World Health Organization (WHO) were forced to issue a statement denying ever issuing any such guidance — and it’s important to keep in mind that the WHO can only issue guidance; they do not have the power to actual cancel anything, that’s up to the relevant or local authorities.

“This is not correct. WHO never recommended that football should no longer be played until the end of 2021.”

-WHO statement; source: Independent

Double negative in these confusing times is just mean, WHO.

And it’s only getting more confusing, as some (most) countries move towards gradual reopening and restarting of football, but others, like the Netherlands and Belgium are on the brink of officially abandoning their 2019-20 seasons.

While both the Eredivisie and the Jupiler League would likely award the title to the current first place teams in that case, the question of European places is a tougher one to solve. And that could be a problem for many other leagues as well, especially if they cannot finish before June 30, when all the contracts expire or roll over to the next fiscal year.

Tabloid rumors in England claimed today that UEFA are considering a sort of an all-star Champions League tournament as a failsafe, awarding places to teams based on UEFA coefficients. This was mainly presented from the perspective of Arsenal, who can barely hope to get into the Europa League at the moment, but would “qualify” for the Champions League based on these coefficients.

If that sounds like nonsense, it is — at least according to the Independent’s understanding. It’s unclear if UEFA actually confirmed this to them (without issuing an official statement to deny a random rumor at least until tomorrow’s latest videoconference), but let’s take their word for it over The Sun’s.