UEFA EURO 2020 becomes the latest football tournament to be postponed due to coronavirus COVID-19.
On March 17, UEFA stakeholders had an emergency meeting during which they made the decision to postpone the Euro 2020 competition until 2021. This decision came in light of the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 epidemic, which had already led to the cancellation of the vast majority of football competitions in Europe. UEFA’s full statement can be read here.
- What You Need to Know About Euro 2020 and Coronavirus
- Coronavirus: Football Matches Postponed in Europe
The news was first announced by the Norwegian Football Association on its official Twitter account.
The tweet read as follows (translated, original post below):
UEFA has decided to postpone the European Championship until 2021. [The tournament] will be played from June 11 to July 11 next year. More information coming.
UEFA har bestemt at EM utsettes til 2021. Det skal spilles fra 11. juni til 11. juli neste år. Mer informasjon kommer.
— NorgesFotballforbund (@nff_info) March 17, 2020
UEFA’s announcement came as a shock to many sports fans.
As we reported earlier, last week saw the postponement of the vast majority of domestic club football league play (including La Liga, Bundesliga, and the EPL). Then, on March 15, UEFA had announced the cancellation of all of the week’s Champions League and the Europa League matches with the following statement:
In the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and related decisions made by different governments, all UEFA club competitions matches scheduled this week are postponed.
However, the announcements were made with wording that made it sound as if play would resume after a few weeks. Serie A and La Liga matches, for example, were slated to be postponed until April 3 and April 4 respectively.
With UEFA EURO 2020 starting only play on June 11, it was largely assumed that the tournament would be allowed to take place. What’s even more puzzling to some football fans is the fact that other international sports competitions taking place in the summer, such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, are slated to go ahead as planned.
So why is Euro 2020 treated differently?
Perhaps the final nail in the coffin of Euro 2020 was its unprecedentedly international nature. The tournament was supposed to take place in 12 separate countries in celebration of the championship’s sixtieth anniversary. To catch all of their team’s games, fans would have to travel between several counties.
Most notably, some of the games were scheduled to take place in Italy (Group A, together with Azerbaijan) and Spain (Group E, together with Ireland), countries which were struck the hardest by the global pandemic.
It stands to reason that this fact had played at least some role in UEFA’s decision to postpone the tournament.
If you have purchased tickets for one of the tournament’s matches, find out what you should do here. Check other matches and leagues that were cancelled here.
We’ll keep you updated as the situation develops.