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UEFA officially postpones Euro 2020

(Photo: HNS)

17 March 2020 – The coronavirus pandemic has forced UEFA to postpone Euro 2020, European football’s governing body announced after a video conference with members was held on Tuesday. 

UEFA invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to a video conference meeting to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak.

The tournament was to be held across 12 European cities and was scheduled to begin on June 12 but on Tuesday it was confirmed that it would not go ahead this year. 

UEFA has postponed Euro 2020 until the summer of 2021 to allow European leagues more time to complete their seasons amid the coronavirus pandemic.  

Euro 2020 will now be played in 2021 from 11 June – 11 July. 

The postponement will give domestic competitions across Europe a chance to be completed this summer if the pandemic subsides. 

Announcing the decisions, Aleksander Ceferin said:

“We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent. It is at times like these, that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.

“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 recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.

Croatian Football Federation president Davor Suker said: “I think we have made the only reasonable and acceptable decision at this point and I’m glad we all agreed on this. Of course we’re sorry there won’t be a football spectacle we’ve all been looking forward to, but the absolute priority now is to fight the coronavirus and in we have shown unity and responsibility in this – human lives come first. I wholeheartedly hope that we will soon overcome this pandemic and return to a normal life, and I am sure that then football will help us to bring joy, positive and a sense of community into our lives.”

UEFA added that all existing ticket buyers and hospitality clients that cannot attend the tournament in 2021 will be refunded in full.

“Within the next month, further information on the refund process will be communicated to existing ticket buyers via e-mail and on euro2020.com/tickets,” UEFA said.

Croatia’s squad for the tournament next year may look a little different.  This summer’s Euros was set to be captain Luka Modric and Barcelona star Ivan Rakitic’s international swan songs.

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