Euro 2020 postponed until 2021 due to coronavirus
Euro 2020 has been postponed until 2021 after UEFA reached an agreement with key governing bodies on Tuesday, following the global coronavirus pandemic.
EFA relayed the news after an emergency video conference with all 55 of its affiliated national federations and representatives from clubs and leagues on Tuesday in which it also confirmed 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, including playoffs.
This means that European domestic leagues, postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak, are now free to complete their schedule as they wish. UEFA also said 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 season and any other consequence of the decisions made on Tuesday.
The 24-team European Championship, which was being held across Europe to mark UEFA's 60th anniversary, will now take place from June 11 to July 11 in 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," UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said in a statement confirming what had been leaked by the Norwegian and Swedish FAs earlier in the day.
"It is at times like these, that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism."
"It is the biggest crisis that football faced in history," Ceferin added in a television interview with The Associated Press from his native Slovenia. "We all know that this terrible virus that is all across Europe made football and all life in Europe quite impossible. We knew we have to stop the competitions."
With the Champions League and Europa League also paused, the priority for football is now to finish domestic leagues. And it's prompted more questions about the Olympic Games due to held in Tokyo this summer.
ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti says domestic leagues would have "no shot" at completing their seasons without UEFA's decision to move Euro 2020 to 2021. Marcotti adds that "a lot of money is on the line" when it comes to concluding the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League knockout rounds and moving the Euros was the best way to "minimize the financial hit" for all parties involved.