This summer’s European Championship has been postponed until the summer of 2021, Uefa has decided, as it contemplates the unprecedented disruption caused by the coronavirus.
European football’s governing body held its scheduled conference call with Europe’s 55 national football associations at 12pm UK time, and 17 minutes later the Norwegian FA was the first to tweet the news that the tournament has been postponed until next year.
“Uefa has decided that the European Championship is postponed to 2021,” it reported. “It will be played from 11 June to 11 July next year. More information coming.”
The Swedish FA’s president, Karl-Erik Nilsson, confirmed the same in a message to Reuters.
The tournament was due to have been held this year from 12 June to 12 July in host cities of 12 countries right across Europe, including London, Glasgow and Dublin. Wembley was due to host seven matches at Euro 2020, including the semi-finals and the final.
The postponement was widely expected after national leagues and Uefa’s own Champions League and Europa League club competitions were suspended last week and Europe became locked down by severe travel and social restrictions.
It emerged on Tuesday that Uefa last week cancelled its hotel bookings in Copenhagen, one of the host cities. The CPH Hotel told Reuters that Uefa had booked 80 of its 102 rooms but cancelled them a little over a week ago. The Marienlyst Strandhotel told Reuters that Uefa had cancelled rooms booked on behalf of the Denmark team, who are usually based there.
The postponement of the Euros frees a month this summer to try to finish club competitions, which the Premier League, EFL and all European leagues hope to do, but this remains highly uncertain as it is impossible to know when normal life, including football and other sports, can resume.
The European Club Association, European Leagues and the international players’ union were involved in separate video-conference calls with Uefa after the first one with the 55 FAs, to discuss the possibilities for domestic competitions, and the Champions and Europa Leagues.
Assuming that the Euros can go ahead on the new pencilled-in dates next year, Uefa will have logistical practicalities to work out in relation to the women’s European Championship, which scheduled for 7 July to 1 August in England next year. The Nations League final and Under-21 Euros in Hungary and Slovenia are also scheduled for next summer.