UEFA have confirmed that Euro 2020 has been postponed for a year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, with the Champions League and Europa League set to resume when it is safe – and possible – to do so.
The decision was taken after a conference call with UEFA’s key stakeholders, the European governing body said in a statement.
“UEFA today announced the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA Euro 2020, due to be played in June and July this year,” read the statement.
“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 postponement should accommodate the fulfillment of the domestic and European club competitions currently put on hold by the pandemic, of which Europe is now the epicenter.
“The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed,” continued the statement.
“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 decision will likely have ramifications across the sporting calendar, with Swedish outlet Expressen reporting the UEFA European Women’s Championship will now move from 2021 to 2022.
As yet, there is no confirmation from UEFA on new dates for the Champions League and Europa League finals but reports state that they will be played on June 27 and June 24 respectively.
The virus has infected almost 180,000 people and killed more than 7,000 worldwide.
The European championship is usually held in one or two host nations but was spread around the continent this time in what organizers said was a romantic one-off event.
The host cities are Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, and St Petersburg