UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin saidthe sacrifice of key workers must not beforgotten as European football returns.
Every shirt worn by players will bear a ‘Thank You’ message for key workers in their team’s respective language in the Champions League and Europa League, UEFA has announced.
European football’s club tournaments were halted in March due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic but are preparing to return to action.
Just under three million people have tested positive for COVID-19 across Europe, with health services across the globe continuing to fight the virus.
This week, both the Champions League and Europa League campaigns will resume, with the remaining last-16 ties to be completed.
In addition to the messages on kits, UEFA has revealed dedicated television ‘spots’ will be broadcast during matches, allowing players to express their own thanks in person.
A minute’s silence will also be observed prior to kick-off in the last-16 matches in the Champions League, Europa League and UEFA Youth League, as well as the quarter-finals of the Women’s Champions League.
“I am delighted that our competitions are back, but we must not forget the people whose dedication and personal sacrifices have given us the opportunity to start playing again,” said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
“Football’s gratitude is not limited to words. This unprecedented period has taught us that football really can be an important vehicle for good.”
The Europa League returns on Wednesday, while the Champions League is back on Friday with a double header of Juventus versus Lyon and Manchester City against Real Madrid.
From there, the remainder of the Champions League will take place in Lisbon with one-legged ties. The same format will also be used for the Europa League, which is to be completed in Germany.