The UAE Pro League issued a circular to professional clubs based on the approved protocol for the 2020-2021 sports season, which included a clarification stating that the Covid-19 pandemic will not be considered a force majeure event as long as there is no reason to prevent the matches from being held during the pandemic, except in the event that the competition is suspended or canceled by the relevant authorities, which results in the impossibility of holding the matches. In the light of this, the Pro League decided the following:
1- Having positive Covid-19 cases in the team will not be considered a reason for postponement of matches.
2- If a team has 20 players, including the goalkeeper, who are eligible to participate in matches as a result of having negative Covid-19 test results, the club can play the matches according to the competition schedule. In all cases, 20 players are not required to be registered in the match squad, and the match will be held according to the numbers stipulated in the competition regulations and the laws of the game.
3- The deadline for submitting the test results on the UAE Football Association website is 12:00 noon on matchday.
In case a club failed to deliver the test results before the above-specified deadline and until an hour and a half before match kick-off, the match will be held and the club which violated the rules will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee, who’ll decide the penalties it deems appropriate for not delivering the test results within the specified time, and in all cases, this will not be considered a reason for losing the match.
4- As an exception to what is stated in Article (3), the club has the right to amend the list of the players’ test results and add to it in case positive cases were detected among the players, until an hour and a half before the start of the match. In this case, the team will not be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.
5- In case a club fails to provide 20 players, including a goalkeeper, who hold negative Covid-19 test results in order to choose the final match squad, before the above specified deadline (less than an hour and a half from kick-off), the team will be handed a 3-0 loss.
As for canceling or not completing the competitions, the following has been decided:
1- The decision to cancel or not complete the season for reasons related to the Covid-19 pandemic will be made based on a decision issued by the relevant authorities in the country.
2- In case the decision of the relevant authorities in the country was before the end of the first half of the season, a decision shall be made to cancel the season completely without declaring a champion or relegating any team to the first-tier, and the teams’ standings will not calculated for any reason.
3- In case the decision of the relevant authorities in the country is taken after the end of the first half of the season, the final standings will be calculated according to the last rankings before the competition stoppage, provided that all teams played the same number of matches.
In case the number of games played by all teams is not equal, the final standings will be calculated according to the last matchweek in which all the teams were equal in the number of matches played, and a champion will be declared, relegation to first-tier and AFC Champions League qualification spots will be retained as well as all other consequences, whether financial, administrative or otherwise. And in all cases, to avoid any doubt, points from any matchweek that has not been completed will not be calculated or included in the teams’ final standings.
The Pro League explained that the provisions of the circular are considered an integral part of the Pro League’s competitions regulations for the 2020/2021 season, and in case any text in the competition regulations clashes with the circular, the provisions of this circular shall apply.