UEFA postpones EURO Championship until 202118th March 2020 11:17 am GMT
European football's governing body UEFA has postponed its flagship national team competition EURO 2020 until next summer due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was made Tuesday during a video conference with the 55 national associations and representatives of leagues, clubs and players.
UEFA said that by postponing the tournament, it will give the European domestic leagues a chance to complete their seasons, as well as avoiding any unnecessary additional pressure on national public services.
The tournament was due to be played from 12 June to 12 July this year across 12 European cities, with the final to be held at Wembley. It will now take place over proposed new dates of 11 June to 11 July 2021.
“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,” said UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin. “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.
“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,” he said.
UEFA has set up a working group to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of this season’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League competitions.
South America’s football governing body CONMEBOL has already agreed to move the 2020 Copa America to next year, which will mean that clubs and leagues in Europe will have as little disruption as possible in the availability of their players.