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UEFA will take travel restrictions on board for qualifier draws

UEFA say they will take travel restrictions between countries into account for the qualifying pha...



UEFA will take travel restrict...
Soccer

UEFA will take travel restrictions on board for qualifier draws

UEFA say they will take travel restrictions between countries into account for the qualifying phase draws of the Champions League and Europa League.

It's the latest concession from European football's governing body in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In June it was confirmed that all qualifying ties (except the Champions League playoff round) will be one-off games. The teams drawn out first will have home advantage.

SSE Airtricity Premier Division champions Dundalk will enter the Champions League at the first qualifying round phase (August 18-19).

Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and Derry City will all begin their Europa League campaign on August 27 in the first qualifying round.

At the moment, Ireland has a 'green list' of 15 countries to which travel is allowed. Those countries are Malta, Finland, Norway, Italy, Hungary, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Cyprus, Slovakia, Greece, Greenland, Gibraltar, Monaco and San Marino.

However, the Government is considering removing some countries from that 'green list'.

Ireland aren't alone in their restrictions, which is set to complicate UEFA's draws for the Champions League and Europa League qualifiers.

With that in mind, UEFA has announced some temporary rule changes to its qualifying processes to allow for travel restrictions.

Before each draw, they say they will publish the list of known travel restrictions between countries, e.g. border closures and quarantine requirements.

By midnight, two days before each respective draw, clubs must furnish UEFA with a list of the relevant travel restrictions to and from their country.

If a club does not inform UEFA in time of its travel restrictions, and the qualifier cannot then go ahead, the host club will be held responsible and will forfeit the tie.

If restrictions imposed by the national/local authorities of the home club’s country apply to the visiting club, the home club must propose a suitable alternative venue which may be in a neutral country - suitable to both countries.

Such is the breadth of countries represented in the Europa League first qualifying round, it appears certain one of the three League of Ireland sides will be effected.

UEFA are also taking into account positive coronavirus tests, but appear determined for games to go ahead.

They say, "If one or more players or officials of a club test positive for COVID-19 in the tests required by the UEFA Return to Play Protocol, the match will take place as scheduled unless the national/local authorities of one or both clubs involved or of where the match will take place (in case of a neutral country) require a large group of players or the entire team to go into quarantine.

"If at least 13 players registered on the A list (including at least one goalkeeper) are available, the match must go ahead on the scheduled date."

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Bohemians Champions League Derry City Dundalk Europa League Shamrock Rovers UEFA

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