UEFA expected to postpone Euros 2020 till next year
LONDON: UEFA was expected to postpone Euro 2020 by up to a year on Tuesday, as European football’s governing body considers its response to the fallout of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
All of Europe’s leading domestic leagues ground to a halt last week with football confronting its biggest issue in modern times, and the fate of UEFA’s Champions League and Europa League competitions must also be determined.
UEFA will hold a video conference with representatives from all 55 member associations as well as from clubs and players bodies. It will then hold an executive committee meeting at 1400 (1300 GMT) at its Swiss headquarters.
The future of the European Championship, due to take place for the first time in a dozen different cities spread across the continent from June 12 to July 12, is up in the air.
The “dark scenarios” that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin warned against envisaging when he spoke at the organisation’s congress in Amsterdam just two weeks ago now have to be considered.
Europe has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, with Italy and Spain on lockdown, France rapidly following suit, and other countries closing borders to halt the spread of the outbreak.
More than 2,100 people have died in Italy, which is supposed to host the opening game of Euro 2020 in Rome.
Postponed for a year?
The head of the Italian football federation, Gabriele Gravina, has already proposed that the Euros be postponed, with Italy coach Roberto Mancini calling for it to pushed back 12 months.
“We would have won the European Championship this summer, we can also win it in 2021,” Mancini told television station Rai Sport.
It is a position that many across the continent are coming round to amid much uncertainty as to when club football can resume.
“UEFA has no choice. They have to postpone the Euros and the Champions League,” one senior figure in the world game told AFP, although finding agreement across the board may not be easy.
German league chief Christian Seifert believes postponing the European Championship is inevitable.
“I firmly count on the fact the tournament will be postponed,” Seifert said. “The probability that we have a perfect Euros this summer is measured by a number close to zero.” - AFP