UEFA Postpones EURO 2020 by 12 Months
In these difficult times for Europe and the world as a whole, the UEFA board decided to prioritize the organization of domestic championships and competitions. This season’s Champions League and Europa League are in question. A separate working group was convened for handling the situations caused by the current circumstances.
What we know for sure – sadly – is that the UEFA EURO 2020 football championship is postponed due to the emergency situation with the COVID-19 virus. The largest international sporting event was to be held in June-July of this year. But UEFA believes that the health of participants is more important than the spirit of competition.
These actions can also reduce the level of tension in national services, which should ensure order and security during the tournament. The association hopes in this way to help complete domestic national competitions, which were urgently suspended under the danger of the coronavirus spreading.
At the moment, all events and matches of UEFA have been postponed: friendlies, clubs, national, men and women. As for the matches of EURO 2020 qualifiers and international friendly matches, which were to be held in March this year, they are tentatively postponed to early June. Changes may take place, depending on the development of the epidemic situation. All change notifications will be posted on the UEFA website.
The Unexpected Delay
In order to resolve all issues regarding calendar decisions correctly, a dedicated working group was created. It includes representatives of leagues and clubs. The task of this group is to find the best solutions to complete the current game season, as well as to regulate the consequences of decisions already made.
On March 17, the UEFA Executive Committee held an online conference with the presidents and general secretaries of all 55 national football associations, representatives of the Association of European Clubs, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe.
This meeting was organized to approve a joint action plan to combat the problems associated with the active spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the European continent.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin states:
“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. It is at times like these that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.
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.
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.”
In his speech, the UEFA President emphasized that the Executive Committee had a very difficult decision to postpone the largest and most famous European football competition. The massive delay of the EURO Cup 2020 would cost the association a pretty penny.
Nevertheless, every possible effort will be made to guarantee decent funding for the development of the game in all 55 countries. European football should not suffer from what is currently happening.
Aleksander Čeferin also thanked the Association of European Clubs, the European League and FIFPro Europe, and the leaders of 55 national associations for their work and cooperation. After all, every other decision was difficult, but it would be wrong to not take timely measures. UEFA promises to finalize all the details in the near future.
Words of gratitude also came from Alejandro Dominguez and CONMEBOL, who adjourned the CONMEBOL 2020 Copa America conference. After all, this contributes to following the recommendations of international public health organizations. FIFA President Gianni Infantino was also grateful for his assistance in setting the new FIFA season calendar.
It is safe to say that the European Football Association has been able to very clearly demonstrate its responsibility, solidarity, and unity. One thing for sure – profit cannot be a priority for European football these times.
What’s Delayed Until When
The UEFA 2020 tournament was to be held in 12 cities across Europe from June 12 to July 12, 2020. Now, the UEFA cup matches will be delayed until the next year, that is, for the period from June 11 to July 11, 2021.
UEFA management guarantees that current ticket holders and partners who refuse to participate in the 2021 tournament will be able to return the money spent in full. Information about the possibility of a refund will be provided by email, as well as on the tournament’s website.
Dates for other UEFA events, including club and national competitions for men and women, will be announced shortly. Stay in tune!