The Champions League and Europa League cannot go ahead as normal under the current circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, says Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc.
With the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 rising in numerous European countries, the challenges of resuming continental competition are clear.
At the end of the 2019-20 season, the final stages of both tournaments were played as straight knockout competitions, with the Champions League finished in Portugal and the Europa League in Germany.
Last week, the winners of those two tournaments met in Budapest. Bayern Munich beat Sevilla 2-1 to lift the UEFA Super Cup in front of 15,180 fans in the 67,000-capacity Puskas Arena, despite a high number of infections in the Hungarian capital leading up to the game.
The draws for the Champions League and Europa League group stage are due to be made on Thursday and Friday respectively, but the Dortmund chief has doubts over their viability.
“Really, we are still missing the legal requirements to be able to play these games at all,” Zorc told the Frankfurter Allgemeine.
“If we play in a high-risk area on the Wednesday, which will probably be the case in more than half of the major cities involved, then there needs to be some foundations in place so that we can play in the Bundesliga again on Saturday.”
While Premier League and La Liga games are still being played without fans, this is not the case across Europe’s top leagues.
The Bundesliga has seen some stadiums filled to 20 per cent capacity, with small numbers allowed into Ligue 1 games as well as Italy's Serie A.
Some fans will return at Nations League fixtures in the October international break, and there have been reports that UEFA is considering a similar plan for the Champions League and Europa League. UEFA’s website currently says “games are taking place behind closed doors until further notice.”
The Champions League group stage is due to begin on October 20, running until December 9. The Europa League group stage will run from October 22 to December 10.