Atletico Madrid could miss out on Champions League as RFEF says current top four will qualify if La Liga season is abandoned

Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Real Sociedad current top four with Atletico a point further back with nine games remaining

Atletico Madrid could miss out on the Champions League for the first time in seven years after the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) said the teams currently in La Liga's top four will qualify for next season's competition if the season is abandoned due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With all teams having played 27 matches before the RFEF suspended play on March 12 due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla and Real Sociedad are the four teams that will go through to Europe's premier club competition if no more action is possible this season.

"The RFEF wants to have done its homework in case, in the event of a suspension of competitions, it receives the request from Uefa regarding the Spanish clubs that would have access to European competitions next season," RFEF general secretary Andreu Camps said in a statement on Thursday.

"Thus ... it has been agreed in the RFEF Delegate Commission to make a plan in order to give certainty in an extreme scenario, such as not being able to finish the competitions, so that all the clubs know the new scenario they are facing."

After the last round of games were completed on March 10, Barcelona topped La Liga with 58 points, two ahead of Real Madrid. Sevilla are third on 47, with Real Sociedad a point further back in fourth.

The teams in fifth and sixth place - which are currently Getafe and Atletico Madrid - will also qualify for the Europa League.

Both clubs would have reason to be aggrieved if they were to miss out on the Champions League. Getafe, level on points with Sociedad, are aiming to compete in Europe's top club competition for the first time in their history, while Atletico - one point back - have become perennial contenders in the Champions League having reached the final twice, in 2014 and 2016.

Atletico also booked their place in this season's Champions League quarter-finals after eliminating holders Liverpool in the last 16.

The result of the Copa Del Rey final, if that is contested, could impact which team grabs the final Europa League spot.

With Copa Del Rey finalists Sociedad already in the top four, their opponents Athletic Bilbao (10th in the league) are in pole position for the third Europa League spot unless they have climbed into the top six by the time the final league standings are decided.

Should that occur, the final Europa League spot will go to the seventh-placed team in La Liga.

This season's Champions League could be condensed into a one-week tournament, with the final hosted on August 29 in Istanbul, as Uefa prepare to meet next Thursday to discuss proposals of how to complete the tournament.

Updated: April 17, 2020 11:50 AM


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