Euro 2020 Postponed

The Euro 2020 football tournament has been postponed by a year until June 2021 in light of the coronavirus pandemic that is currently plaguing the world. The competition was due to start on the 12th of June 2020 until the 12th of July but has had to be called off due to safety concerns.

The European flag flying from a flagpole.

The Euro 2020 football tournament that was due to be played across multiple nations on the continent during the summer has been postponed until the summer of 2021. ©Capri23auto/Pixabay

The decision was made on Tuesday, when a crisis meeting was held. The organizer of the competition, UEFA, held a video-based gathering that included some of the significant partners in the organization.

The re-scheduling of the event will have a knock-on effect on other tournaments that are going to be held at that time. The Women’s European Championship, the Nation’s League, and the Under-21 competition. All of these are due to start in June of 2021 as well, which will lead to clashes when the competitions eventually kick-off.

While UEFA has acknowledged these clashes, it does not yet have a solid arrangement set up to help to mitigate this problem. It is still unclear whether the dates will be slightly changed to account for the competitions running at the same time or if they will be pushed back altogether and played at a later date.

One of the major reasons that the organizers gave for the postponement was to avoid putting any additional strain on the public services of the nations it is based in. The public services across Europe are already in overdrive after the outbreak of COVID-19.

Since the novel coronavirus reached Europe from the Wuhan province in China, it has caused havoc across the nations in Europe. The governing body for the Euro 2020 competition is, therefore, unconvinced that there will have been sufficient time for nations to recover from the current strain that they are under.

UEFA took care to emphasize the difficulty that it had in making the decision, but that ultimately, the well-being of the fans, players and anyone involved in the tournament had to take precedence. The organization stated that in light of the current circumstances the footballing world had to come together in solidarity.

The re-scheduling of the tournament may have a silver lining, however. With the absence of an international competition in the summer, there may an ideal opportunity for the various leagues that have been suspended across Europe to be finished during the window of time that the Euros was due to run.

The meeting was characterized by a sense of cooperation, according to the UEFA president, Aleksander Cerferin. The decision will undoubtedly come at a great cost to the organization, but ultimately, it had to sacrifice profits to help in the fight against the spread of the deadly virus.

What Will Happen During the Summer

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the majority of the domestic leagues across Europe were suspended to avoid large gatherings of people. The Champions League and the Europa League were also suspended indefinitely.

The Premier League has been stopped up to the 4th of April at the earliest, although if the current projections of when the infection rate is due to peak are correct, it will probably come back at a much later date than this.

Liverpool looked set to win their first league title in decades with the culmination of the 2019/20 season but their title hopes now look in doubt with the suspension of the league. There is also the issue of teams that will be relegated or promoted from each league. No consensus has been reached as yet as to how to tackle this problem.

In Italy, Spain, France, and Germany football all games have been canceled, and all are facing similar issues to those seen by the Premier League in the UK. A representative body for the leagues in Europe has set a date of the 30th of June as a deadline for completing the seasons across the continent.

It seems likely that domestic games will be scheduled during the week, alongside European games when the football returns.

With regards to the international European Leagues, the Europa League and the Champions League, there has been the suggestion of a mini tournament to find the winning teams. The logistics of such a tournament are not yet known, however.

In addition to the European leagues, there was also supposed to be several play-off matches for the Euro 2020 tournament held in March. These have also been canceled, and have been provisionally postponed until June.

All international games that were scheduled to be played in March have also been stopped but will be played in June much like the other postponed games.

With all of these delays, it looks like there will be a heavily congested calendar for football teams during the summer, with multiple competitions needing to be finished in a short space of time.

The football leagues and tournaments are just a small subsection of all of the events that were due to take place in the coming weeks and months that have been called off. The outbreak of the coronavirus has hit Europe hard, with multiple poker tournaments being called off, as well as large events like the Grand National in England, Wimbledon, and festivals like Glastonbury.

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