Coronavirus emergency: UEFA postpone EURO 2020. The European Championship will be played in 2021Priority has been given to the completion of national competitions. A working group has also been set up to examine how to continue the Champions League and the Europa League this season
Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Today UEFA announced the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA EURO 2020, which was meant to be played in June and July of this year. The priority is to protect the health of all those involved in football and to avoid putting unnecessary pressure on national public health services. The move will also help to complete all national competitions that are currently suspended due to the COVID-19 emergency.
All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendly matches) for both male and female clubs and national teams have been suspended until further notice. UEFA EURO 2020 playoff matches and international friendly matches scheduled for the end of March will be played in the national team window at the beginning of June, subject of course to a possible review of the situation.
A working group has been set up with representatives from leagues and clubs in order to assess any scheduling solutions that will allow for the completion of the current season and to evaluate any other consequences of the decisions taken today.
The decisions, made by the UEFA Executive Committee, came after today’s videoconference meetings with the Presidents and Secretaries of the 55 members’ national associations, as well as representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe; the meeting was led by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin to find a mutual plan to deal with the emergency situation caused by the spread of the virus across the continent.
Announcing the decisions, Aleksander Čeferin said:
“We are at the helm of a sport that a vast number of people live and breathe and that has been ground to a halt by this invisible, fast-moving opponent. It’s during these times that the football community must show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.”
“The health of the fans, staff and players must be our number one priority, and this is why UEFA have presented a range of options so that the competitions can end safely this season and I am proud of my colleagues’ response across European football. There was a real sense of cooperation, with everyone recognising the need to sacrifice something to get the best result.”
“It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice. The postponement of EURO 2020 has a huge cost to UEFA, but we will do our best to ensure that core funding for grassroots football, women’s football and game development in our 55 countries isn’t affected. This decision has been made with the good of European football as a whole at its core.”
“Football is a powerful and positive force for society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European sports festival in empty stadiums, with deserted fan zones, while the whole continent is in isolation, would have been a sad and unacceptable way to celebrate the competition’s 60th anniversary.”
“I would like to thank the European Club Association, the European Leagues and FIFPro Europe for their great work and cooperation today. I’d also like to thank the 55 national federations from the bottom of my heart, their Presidents and their Secretaries as well as my colleagues on the Executive Committee for their support and wise decisions. The details will be finalised in the coming weeks, but the basic principles have been approved and this is a huge step forward. We have all shown that we’re responsible leaders and we have shown solidarity and unity. Our aims go far beyond just profits and today we have succeeded.”
“I would also like to thank Alejandro Dominguez and CONMEBOL, who decided to move CONMEBOL’s Copa America 2020 following the recommendations of the international public health organisations in order to implement extreme measures and also following the postponement of EURO 2020. This means that clubs and leagues in Europe will have as little impact as possible on the availability of their players. These joint efforts, and above all this coordinated and responsible decision, are deeply appreciated by the entire European football community.”
“I would also like to thank FIFA and its President, Gianni Infantino, who said that he will do everything possible to set this new schedule. In the face of this crisis, football has shown its best side with openness, solidarity and tolerance.”
UEFA EURO 2020 was due to take place in twelve European cities from 12 June to 12 July 2020. The new proposed dates are 11 June to 11 July 2021. UEFA wants to reassure existing ticket buyers and hospitality customers that if they are unable to attend the tournament in 2021, the face value of their tickets and packages will be fully refunded. Within the next month, further information on the refund procedure will be communicated to existing ticket holders via e-mail and on euro2020.com/tickets.
Decisions on the dates of other UEFA competitions, be they club or national competitions for men or women, will be made and announced in due course.