UEFA Postpones Euro 2020
By Samuel Victor Akpan
Uefa has announced the postponement of Euro 2020 in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The decision was confirmed by the Norwegian Football Association on Tuesday on social media, after a conference call meeting between all 55 member associations and both the board of the European Club Association and European Leagues.
The tournament which was originally scheduled for June 12 will now hold in the summer of 2021.
According to Uefa, the postponement will afford European Leagues more time to finish their seasons which has been suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Uefa also says “all competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice.”
The governing body confirmed a working group has been set up to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decision.
Uefa president Aleksander Čeferin afterward said: “It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice.”
“Moving EURO 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women’s football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected.”
“Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole.”
He added: “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.”
In his reaction, French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has lauded Uefa’s decision to move forward the tournament until 2021.
"The French Football Federation fully supports UEFA's decision to postpone Euro 2020 from June 11 to July 11, 2021, and to adapt the formats for European competitions accordingly," he said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the South American Football Federation (CONMEBOL) has also that this year’s COPA America has been postponed until the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus.
Colombia and Argentina were scheduled to host the tournament this summer but the tournament will now hold in 2021.