As expected, UEFA has postponed Euro 2020, scheduled to be played June 12-July 12 in 12 different cities across Europe because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The 24-team European
Championship will now be played June 11-July 11, 2021.
The move, agreed to at a meeting held by video-conference with leaders of the European Club Association and European Leagues groups,
plus FIFPro, the players’ union. clears the way for European leagues to have time -- hopefully -- to complete their 2019-20 seasons. Most had approximately two months of league games (plus cup
games) still to play. The drop-dead date for completing the 2019-20 season is June 30.
Leagues want to finish out their seasons to collect payments on often-lucrative television contracts
and gate receipts (assuming games aren't moved behind closed doors). They also need to have an orderly conclusion to their seasons to determine qualifiers for next season's lucrative UEFA club
competitions and those teams that are promoted and relegated. Without that, they fear a flood of lawsuits.
The move to push the European Championship into 2021 will also allow UEFA to try
to finish the Champions League and Europa League seasons. One possibility is to finish the two European cup competitions with final fours at the determined host venues, Istanbul (Champions League) and
Gdansk (Europa League).
"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," said UEFA president
. "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 No.
1 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 cooperation, with everyone recognizing that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result."
UEFA made a profit of 830 million euros ($912 million)
four years ago at the European Championship.
“Moving Euro 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA,” Ceferin added.
That will also be a cost to UEFA's members. Many
small European federations depend on payments from UEFA to fund its operations.
The switch will allow UEFA to determine the final four qualifiers for the European Championship. Those
playoff games were scheduled to be played on March 26 and 31 and could now be played in early June. Events impacted in 2020.
moving its men's championship to 2021, UEFA now has a conflict with the Women's European Championship, which was scheduled to be played in England July 7-Aug. 1, 2021. It could be moved to later
in the summer or into 2022.
The Nations League and the European Under-21 Championships are also scheduled to take place next summer.
The Copa America, scheduled to be played
in Argentina and Colombia this summer, was also postponed until 2021.
FIFA agreed to postpone its new 24-team Club World Cup, scheduled to be played in China in the summer of 2021, to a