UEFA postpones EURO 2020 by 12 months
On March 17th, UEFA announced the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA EURO 2020, due to be played in June and July this year.
The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches.
The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed.
It is at times like these that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.”Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA President said when announcing the decisions
The question is, is this really the beginning of soccer stopping for a several months, possibly a year? Will the teams eventually reassemble with different rosters? Could this really be happening in response to the Coronavirus COVID-19?
As a result of social distancing and either an abundance of caution or a required necessity to flatten the curve to not overwhelm our hospitals — the impact of COVID-19 on soccer grows more severe every day.
The Resolution of the European football family on a coordinated response to the impact of the COVID-19 on competitions.
UEFA, the European Club Association, European Leagues, and FIFPRO Europe signed a resolution on how European football should react to the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA President, Andrea Agnelli ECA, Chairman, Lars-Christer Olsson, EL President, and Bobby Barnes, FIFPRO Europe President jointly have released a statement on the joint approach to COVID-19.
The hope of resuming play in front of football fans everywhere across the European territory as soon as it is appropriate and prudent.
Until then, here are the initial decisions:
- The play-off qualifying matches of the UEFA EURO 2020 scheduled to be played in March 2020 will be postponed until the international windows of June 2020, subject to a review of the situation.
- The final tournament of the UEFA EURO 2020, which was set to take place from 12 June to 12 July 2020, will be postponed to 11 June to 11 July 2021. This will help to ensure that the UEFA EURO 2020 can be a great celebration of football for all the supporters across the continent.
- European qualifiers matchdays 3 and 4 currently scheduled to take place in June 2021 will be re-scheduled.
- The UEFA Nations League Finals, the final tournament of the UEFA U21 EURO and the UEFA Women’s EURO all scheduled between June and July 2021 will be re-scheduled accordingly.
Here is the balance of the UEFA statement issued on postponing the EURO to 2021:
All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice. The UEFA EURO 2020 play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation.
A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today.
The decisions, taken by UEFA’s Executive Committee, followed videoconference meetings held today with the presidents and general secretaries of the 55 national associations, as well as representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe, convened by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, to find a coherent plan to break the logjam of fixtures building up due to the spread of the virus across the continent.
“We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent.
“The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and, in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football. There was a real spirit of cooperation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.
“It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice. Moving EURO 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women’s football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected. Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole.
“Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadia, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.
“I would like to thank the European Club Association, the European Leagues and FIFPro Europe for their great work today and for their cooperation. I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart the 55 national associations, their presidents and general secretaries, and my colleagues from the Executive Committee for their support and wise decisions. The fine detail will be worked out in the coming weeks but the basic principles have been agreed and that is a major step forward. We have all shown that we are responsible leaders. We have demonstrated solidarity and unity. Purpose over profit. We’ve achieved this today.
For the remainder of the statement, please click here