The European football governing body, UEFA, has released a statement to confirm that the Euro 2020 tournament scheduled for this summer has been postponed for a year.
The postponement is coming on the heels of the coronavirus, the pandemic that has ravaged the globe with Europe having its fair share of cases as well as casualties.
Aside from the categorical announcement of the postponement of Euro 2020, UEFA has also outlined the next steps for discussions around how to conclude the Champions League and Europa League.
UEFA said: “UEFA today (Tuesday) 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.”
The proposed new dates for the Euros are 11 June – 11 July 2021.
UEFA added: “Decisions on dates for other UEFA competitions, whether club or national team for men or women, will be taken and announced in due course.”
Champions League holders Liverpool were knocked out of the competition by Atletico Madrid last week – and it remains to be seen how the rest of the tournament will be handled.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “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 co-operation, 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.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...