It’s been uncertain times for sports fans, with the calendar stripped bare in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. It will take some time before the picture becomes clear. But on Tuesday, at least one tournament provided some clarity on the way forward. The 2020 Euros will become the 2021 Euros.
Has Euro 2020 been cancelled?
It’s been cancelled for this year, yes. The tournament will now take place in 2021, Uefa announced on Tuesday. The tournament was scheduled to be held from 12 June to 12 July 2020 across Europe, including Rome, London, Glasgow and Dublin.
In a statement, Uefa 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,” said the Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin. “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.”
So, Euro 2020 has been postponed? Until when?
Indeed, Euro 2020 has been postponed. It will now be Euro 2021 and while the exact logistics still have to be finalised, Uefa said that the proposed new dates are 11 June to 11 July 2021.
Why was Euro 2020 postponed for so long?
Chiefly, the global COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made by Uefa’s Executive committee, following a videoconference with the presidents and general secretaries of the 55 national associations, as well as representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe.
The outbreak brought domestic leagues across the continent to a standstill. Uefa said that the meetings and decision was a coherent plan to break the logjam of fixtures building up due to the spread of the virus across the continent”.
In theory, the postponement means that should the domestic leagues resume, they would have an additional month in the calendar to finish the season. Much more appealing than not finishing the English Premier League season at all, for example.
There were some murmurs that the competition could be jammed into the domestic season towards the end of the year, but that would come with enormous logistical complications.