European football’s governing body UEFA has postponed Euro 2020 by one year until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.
UEFA made the decision during an emergency video conference involving major stakeholders yesterday.
The tournament, due to take place from 12 June-12 July this summer, will now run from 11 June to 11 July next year.
The postponement provides a chance for European leagues that have been suspended to now be completed.
UEFA said it wanted to avoid “placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services” of its 12 host countries, as well as helping allow domestic competitions to be finished.
“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 Aleksander Ceferin.”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.”
In a related development, South America’s football governing body, CONMEBOL, has announced that Copa America 2020 will be postponed until next summer in 2021.
This summer’s competition was due to take place between June and July in Argentina and Colombia.
The South American leagues have been canceled in recent weeks, while the continental competition, Copa Libertadores, was suspended indefinitely.
Having won their ninth crown in 2019 at the most recent tournament, Brazil are the title holders. Uruguay are the most successful team in the competition’s history with 15 tournament victories.
This year’s Copa America was due to become the first to take place in more than one country for the first time since 1983.