Due to the worldwide COVID-19 health crisis, UEFA made the call on March 17th to postpone Euro 2020 until next summer. This championship was slated to be the best one yet. Other Euro tournaments had taken place in one hosting country, but 2020’s was scheduled to occur in 12 cities across Europe. Unprecedented numbers of fans bought tickets with the demand far outweighing the supply.
- UEFA to Discuss the Need to Postpone Euro 2020
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The good news is that UEFA is planning on using the same venues, which means that next summer’s tournament will still take place in multiple countries. Despite the coronavirus, it should still be as grand of an occasion as originally planned.
Recently, the UEFA set new dates for the rescheduled Euros. The postponed tournament is set to run from June 11th– July 11th in 2021. Currently, UEFA has not decided whether the event will retain the name “Euro 2020” or if the name will be updated with “2021”. The Association made a social media post that seemed to confirm that the tournament would still be called “Euro 2020”. However, a spokesperson has since recalled the statement and clarified that no decision had been made yet.
One of the UEFA’s major reasons for delaying the Euro 2020 (besides preventing the coronavirus from spreading among fans) was to push for the current domestic season to finish. However, on April 1st, 2020, the Association postponed all of its domestic matches that were scheduled for June. In addition to this, all of UEFA’s youth national competitions have been either delayed or canceled altogether.
On April 4th, UEFA’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, set a deadline for both the Champion’s League and the Europe League finals. Ceferin confirmed that August 3rd would be the absolute latest that the final match could occur. If the competition can not be completed by the deadline, then the total season may be ruled void.
Ceferin continued on to say that, due to the extraordinary public health situation, UEFA will be flexible regarding kick-off times and dates. If the COVID-19 the pandemic subsides sooner than expected, then the final matches will be able to proceed ahead of schedule.
Ceferin believes that the only wrong decision possible is to endanger the health of players, fans, and staff. He is confident that football will be able to restart within the next few months, albeit following restrictions set by the UK authorities. He thinks that abandoning the seasons without giving them a final chance is not justified.
The ECA Chairman (Andrea Agnelli) and the EL President (Lars-Christer Olsson) shared Ceferin’s sentiments. They, along with Ceferin, signed a letter that contained the aforementioned sentiments. This letter was sent to a variety of clubs, leagues, and national associations. A final statement within the letter said that it is extremely important that the UEFA does not let, a pandemic disrupt its competitions. Sporting titles should be awarded based on results that have been shown on the field, rather than be declared void.