UEFA has insisted it is not thinking about amending any qualification for the Champions League.

The body is monitoring the situation, with the coronavirus pandemic having stopped football across the world.

Scrapping the qualification process for the European competitions would have an enormous impact on League of Ireland clubs. 

Dundalk (Champions League), Shamrock Rovers, Bohemians and Derry City (Europa League) all secured places in the qualification stages last season. 

Those games don't just offer the clubs involved the chance to pit their wits  against quality opposition on the Continent - there's also the potential to secure much-needed injections of cash.

UEFA's assurances that there are no plans right now to get rid of the qualifiers is welcome news for the game here amid the uncertainty over when there will be a return to action.

"UEFA has never considered depriving domestic champions of their genuine right to try to achieve qualification through on-pitch performance for the UEFA Champions League Group Stage," a statement read.

"UEFA wishes to clarify that it is currently simply monitoring the evolution of the situation and any potential impact on the format of qualifying rounds for next year's club competitions.

"To date, no specific options have been developed for the format of qualification for European club competitions." 

Meanwhile the FAI's Steering Group has submitted three key areas to the Government around return to play protocols for the amateur adult and underage game after a meeting on Monday.

The association is awaiting a response on the following issues:

  • A clear policy to manage all risks for volunteers around a return to play and to ensure a safe environment for all participants 
  • Clarity on the effects of social distancing on contact sport as per the phases outlined in the Government's Roadmap 
  • Guidance on the infrastructural costs for amateur adult and underage clubs around safe return to play protocols

Last week the FAI's Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn said they are "trying to find as soft a landing as possible" for League of Ireland clubs crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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