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UEFA threaten leagues with European competition ban if they void season

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UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said that leagues that end early without permission due to the coronavirus pandemic could face a European competitions ban next season.

Belgium became the first European top-tier league to cancel the rest of its season on Thursday, with Club Brugge crowned league champions. The decision came hours before UEFA, the European Club Association and the European Leagues umbrella group sent a joint letter to their members saying it was of "paramount importance" that competitions, including domestic leagues, were decided on the field.

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Ceferin said Belgium's decision to cancel the remainder of their season was not taken in solidarity with UEFA and that the country could face a ban from European competitions as a result.

"I don't think this is the right move, as solidarity is not a one-way street," Ceferin told German TV station ZDF. "You cannot just ask for solidarity and then just decide however it fits you at that moment. And I must say that they, and the ones who might decide that way, risk of not being able to play in European competitions next year."

All of Europe's major leagues are on hold due to the pandemic. Football in England, Spain, France and Germany has been postponed indefinitely, while Serie A is suspended until at least April 13.

The UEFA Champions League and Europa League competitions have also been suspended indefinitely, while Euro 2020 has been postponed by a year.

Ceferin also said that European football's governing body has €600 million in cash reserves to help clubs with the financial implications caused by the coronavirus.

"We will have to use them, but I don't think that we are in danger of being financially weak or something like that," he added.

"I used to question that, I was wondering why we have so much money on the account instead of giving it to the federations, clubs and stakeholders. Now I understand how important it was because if we wouldn't have it, we would be in serious trouble now."

The UEFA president added that Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules could be postponed to further aid clubs against growing economic concerns.