Rangers affected as UEFA pull the plug on continental competition
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

Rangers affected as UEFA pull the plug on continental competition

UEFA have confirmed the cancellation of this season’s UEFA Youth League due to Covid-19 – as Rangers were looking forward to their second crack at the competition.

The Gers were due to face German side FC Köln but are now in limbo with the competition scrapped for the season after already being altered.

Ciaran Dickson  Mario Soriano of Athletico Madrid during the UEFA Youth League match between Rangers U19 and Atletico Madrid U19  (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Ties were originally being played as single-leg games rather than the usual two-legged fixtures with the semi-finals and finals taking place at Colovray Stadium, Nyon in May but none of that will go ahead after the decision announced by UEFA’s Executive Committee.

“The UEFA Executive Committee has decided to cancel the 2020/21 edition of the UEFA Youth League due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effects on the staging of competitions,” a statement said [UEFA].

“The committee had initially decided last year to amend the format of the competition and to delay its start, but the various measures imposed by health authorities around Europe have continued to evolve since then. The travelling restrictions affecting participating clubs create major difficulties for organising their matches and two clubs have already withdrawn from the competition.

“The UEFA Executive Committee stressed that there is no possibility to further postpone the start of the competition and that the health and safety of youth players must be given highest possible priority.

“Regrettably, the conditions to restart this international youth competition are not met in the current circumstances and both the UEFA Club Competitions Committee and the European Club Association were consulted and supported the idea to exceptionally cancel this season’s UEFA Youth League.”

The Gers made their debut in the competition last season, losing out in the last 16, and were hoping to emulate last season’s campaign – beating Young Boys and Slovan Bratislava before defeat to a fantastic Atlético Madrid side.

 Rodrigo Riquelme of Athletico Madrid evades Nathan Pattersonduring the UEFA Youth League match between Rangers U19 and Atletico Madrid U19 (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

They’ll now have to wait and see if they’ll get another shot at it next season once Covid restrictions have eased across the continent.

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