The Champions League group stage draw has been moved from Athens and will now be a behind-closed-doors event at UEFA’s headquarters in Switzerland.
European football’s governing body confirmed the news on Tuesday, saying to stage the event in the Greek capital would “violate public health restrictions and constraints regarding indoor events” in the country.
The draw for the Champions League will take place on the evening of Thursday, October 1, with UEFA then announcing the best player in the competition from the previous season.
The following day the Europa League group stage draw for 2020-21 will take place and the Europa League player of the season prize for 2019-20 will be revealed.
“UEFA wishes to thank the Greek authorities and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre for their outstanding work and commitment in planning for the event,” a statement read.
“UEFA is looking forward to coming back to Greece for one of its future events in the coming years.”
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin praises the European football community
Many top-flight domestic leagues across Europe, including in England, Germany, Italy and Spain, were able to be completed in the summer after their suspension in March, in large part thanks to the early decision by UEFA to postpone Euro 2020 until next summer.
Ceferin said: “If this is no miracle, can I at least say I am proud of what we have achieved together. In this crazy period it took a lot of determination and belief to go ahead when everything was down and the outlook was not great, not promising at all.
“Who could imagine at the beginning of 2020 what we would have seen?
“If I had been sleeping for a few months and now waking up I would think I was in a movie. But I am not in a movie, we are not in a movie. A big storm ravaged the world. Six months ago everything was shutting down, and now my friends we are back.
“We cannot say everything is normal, but it will be normal soon.”