UEFA has urged all European football clubs to consider "all possible options" in attempting to finish the current domestic seasons. The European football governing body has also proposed to use a different qualification format for European tournaments if needed.

It is understood that UEFA may eventually want the clubs to qualify for different European competitions based on their "sporting merit."

In case the league seasons could not be finished, UEFA told the national associations to select clubs to qualify for Europe based on their sporting merit in the 2019/20 season. The governing body also said it could evaluate the selected teams and refuse them if necessary.

UEFA had organised a video call meeting with all 55 national associations. After that, it has been made clear that the European football authority wants the clubs' on-field performance to determine who will make it to the next season's Champions League and Europa League. However, since all major leagues are currently shut down amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic, UEFA wants to ensure fair selection of teams for their European competitions.

Meanwhile, the Spanish Football Association has suggested that tournament spots must be allocated based on club coefficients, which will take into account the teams' performance in European club competitions over the last five-year period.

If such a qualification method is implemented, Spanish side Atletico Madrid, who is currently outside the top four in La Liga, would qualify for the next year's Champions League. Meanwhile, Real Sociedad wouldn't make it despite ranking fourth in the current domestic season, as of now.

On the other hand, as far as the Premier League is concerned, Manchester United would qualify for the UCL 2020-21 while Leicester City would be left out.

UEFA logo
UEFA logo Photo: AFP / Fabrice COFFRINI

UEFA released a statement on Thursday, which reads, "The ideal scenario, should the pandemic situation permit it, is to have the currently suspended domestic competitions completed enabling football clubs to qualify for Uefa club competitions on sporting merit in their original format. Should this outcome not be possible, in particular due to calendar issues, it would be preferable that suspended domestic competitions would restart with a different format."

As of now, UEFA hasn't made it clear what kind of "different format" could be implemented. It raises the prospect of play-off style matches or mini-tournaments being played to decide European qualification in case the current seasons cannot be finished.