The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has announced, via a series of tweets, the postponement of this summer’s European Championships to next year due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have also 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, which is subject to a review of the situation.
The decision was made after UEFA held conference calls with its 55 member associations, the board of the European Club Association and the board of the European Leagues on Tuesday.
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.
This announcement comes few hours after the CONMEBOL announced that it is also postponing the Copa America due to be held this summer, to next year.
The UEFA President, Aleksander Ceferin said, “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 recognizing that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.
“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.”
The COVID-19 outbreak has taken a huge toll on the sporting world as many sporting events have been suspended including the five major football leagues, the NBA, Formula 1 and ATP Tours.