Football News

Uefa have postponed Euros until 2021 due to coronarvirus outbreak

By Chris Smith

Published: 12:38, 17 March 2020

This summer’s European Championships have been postponed until 2021 to give football leagues more time to cope with the effects of coronavirus.

COVID-19 has decimated the world football calendar with all but a handful of leagues now suspended until early April at the very least.

The delays have cast doubt around the ability of domestic leagues — as well as the Champions League and Europa League — to reach a conclusion before Uefa’s first-ever pan-continental Euros.

Euro 2020 was due to start on June 12 and was planned to take place across 12 host cities, culminating in the final at Wembley on July 12.

However, after a video conference between each of Uefa’s 55 member nations, it has been confirmed the championships will now be held in the summer of 2021 to alleviate the pressure on domestic competitions.

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“UEFA has decided that the European Championship is postponed to 2021,” said a tweet from the Norwegian Football Association.

“It will be played from 11 June to 11 July next year. More information coming.”

Uefa later followed up with a statement which said: “UEFA today 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.

“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.”

According to reports, Uefa will demand a £275m compensation package from its clubs and leagues to cover the costs of postponing the Euros.

But in his statement, Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin insisted “purpose over profit” has been the “guiding principle” in making this decision, insisting the governing body will do its best to ensure funding for grassroots and women’s football will not be affected.

“It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice,” he said.

“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.

“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.

“I would also like to thank Alejandro Dominguez and CONMEBOL, who have agreed to move CONMEBOL’s 2020 Copa America in order to follow the recommendations issued by the international public health organisations to enact extreme measures and as a result of EURO 2020 being postponed.

“I would like to thank FIFA and its President, Gianni Infantino, who has indicated it will do whatever is required to make this new calendar work. In the face of this crisis, football has shown its best side with openness, solidarity and tolerance.”