The COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic has made some major impact on several football events across the world, causing major changes and postponement on top tier leagues and events in the coming months. However, arguably the biggest ht the beautiful game has received from the virus outbreak is the suspension of UEFA Euro 2020, premier European international football tournament that is now shifted to 2021.
This is the first time in the history of the competition that has seen its usual quadrennial schedule get disrupted. Now termed ‘Euro 2021’, the competition will now be held from 11th June to 11th July next year.
Following the postponement of Champions League and Europa League matches, this is UEFA’s latest big sweep amidst the Coronavirus panic that has spread across the globe this month.
While there were talks of the competition to go ahead this year as planned, but with necessary precautions and even possibly a behind closed doors tournament, the recently overlapping threat from the virus outbreak had left the authorising bodies with no choice.
The bombshell came after Euro’s governing body UEFA themselves conducted a video conference with 55 of its member associations, and the news was first officially confirmed by the Norwegian Football Association via Twitter.
“UEFA has decided that the European Championship is postponed to 2021. It will be played from 11 June to 11 July next year. More information coming,” the tweet read.
Sources from Reuters have stated that the decision to postpone the Euro to next year was already confirmed by Karl-Erik Nilsson, President of the Swedish Football Association. “Postponed until 11/6 – 11/7 2021. Will get back to you after the meeting,” Nilsson spoke to Reuters during the video conference.
However, there has been no major updates on any suspension about the ongoing European Qualifiers to be held on 26th and 27th March.
The Euro 2021, now shifted away from their usual 4 year period, will be held across 12 Major European cities- Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg.
The inaugural match on 11th June 2021 will be held at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as Italy will take on Turkey.