UEFA says Premier League fixtures CAN be played on the same night as Champions League games to ease Covid backlog after 18 top-flight matches were called off because of virus outbreaks at clubs
- 18 Premier League matches have been postponed because of Covid-19
- Authorities have been figuring out with clubs when to rearrange these games
- Their life has been made easier after UEFA relaxed its rules over European nights
- Ordinarily, domestic games cannot clash with Champions League fixtures
- But governing body said they will take requests on a case-by-case basis
UEFA has confirmed Premier League matches can be played on the same nights as Champions League knockout games in order to clear the Covid backlog.
18 top-flight matches in England have been postponed in recent weeks as Covid cases have mounted at a number of clubs and left them unable to field teams.
But UEFA has made life easier for the Premier League when it comes to rearranging these fixtures by relaxing its rules over domestic games coinciding with their continental competitions.
Premier League fixtures that have been postponed because of Covid-19 can be rescheduled on the same night as Champions League games after UEFA relaxed its rules
18 Premier League games – including Burnley vs Watford – have been postponed in recent weeks because of Covid-19 outbreaks within clubs
The Times report that European football’s governing body will consider requests on a case-by-case basis when no other suitable date can be found.
A statement read: ‘UEFA is aware of the difficulty of the situation and that the match calendar is highly impacted by Covid.
‘As a general principle, the MoU [memorandum of understanding] applies, but we will, of course, discuss this issue with our stakeholders in order to find an amicable solution for all parties involved, in the event that a clash should occur.’
The Champions League is scheduled to resume with the last-16, first leg ties on February 15 with all four English representatives – Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United – still in the competition.
The match between Leeds and Southampton in February was played on a European evening
But the European games offer an opportunity to reschedule postponed games not involving this quartet and also, given the last-16 ties are spread over several weeks, there should be an opportunity to rearrange matches involving them too.
United saw their pre-Christmas games against Brentford and Brighton called off because of a Covid outbreak within their squad, while Liverpool’s Boxing Day match against Leeds United also fell victim.
Chelsea and City have to date not seen any postponements as a result of Covid.
The Champions League game between Atletico and Chelsea was played on the same day
On February 23 last year, the Premier League match between Leeds United and Southampton kicked off at 6pm on a Champions League night that saw Chelsea travel to play Atletico Madrid and Lazio face Bayern Munich.
That came about because the original game had to be moved in order to accommodate an FA Cup tie between Southampton and Shrewsbury Town postponed due to a Covid outbreak at the League One club.
Full list of PL postponements
Brighton vs Tottenham
Brentford vs Manchester United
Burnley vs Watford
Leicester vs Tottenham
Aston Villa vs Burnley
Manchester United vs Brighton
Southampton vs Brentford
Watford vs Crystal Palace
West Ham vs Norwich
Everton vs Leicester
Burnley vs Everton
Liverpool vs Leeds
Wolves vs Watford
Arsenal vs Wolves
Leeds vs Aston Villa
Everton vs Newcastle United
Leicester City vs Norwich City
Southampton vs Newcastle