the European Football Championship 2020 will be moved to summer 2021. The national leagues and the European Club Association (ECA) approved a proposal by the European Football Union on Tuesday, as did the 55 UEFA member associations in another video conference before the UEFA Executive Committee announced the final decision in the afternoon.
The European Football Union has also suspended all games for clubs and national teams “until further notice”. Decisions on new dates, for example for matches in the Champions League and Europa League, should be made and communicated “in due course”. A working group, with the participation of the leagues and clubs, should look for solutions in the calendar that make it possible to end the season. The playoff games for the European Championship scheduled for the end of March, which have been postponed to the summer of 2021, should take place in early June if possible.
“It was important that Uefa, as the umbrella organization for European football, led the process and made the biggest sacrifice. The postponement of the Euro 2020 is very costly for Uefa, but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding of grassroots and women’s football and the development of the game in our 55 countries are not affected, ”said Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin quoted in an association statement.
The pan-European tournament was originally scheduled to take place this summer from June 12th to July 12th. Germany would have been one of twelve hosts with Munich for the 51 games of the 24 participants. The extent to which Uefa wants and can organize the historic final round in the summer of 2021 remained open at first. However, the planned date is clear: The game is to be played from June 11 to July 11, 2021. Besides, Uefa will have to rethink its own Nations League, the final four is scheduled for June 2021. The European Women’s Championship will also take place in England in summer 2021, but the opening game is only scheduled for July 7th.
Copa America, the South American counterpart to the European Championship, has also been postponed to 2021, as the Conmebol continental association announced. “This is an extraordinary measure for an unexpected situation,” said Conmebol President Alejandro Dominguez. Copa America was to be held with twelve national teams at the same time as the European Championships in Argentina and Colombia. It will also take place from June 11th to July 11th, 2021.
Buffers for national leagues
In addition to the Olympic Games in Tokyo (July 24 to August 9), which the Japanese organizers continue to host, the EURO was the most important sporting event this year. March 17 would go down in Uefa’s history as a historic day, never before had an EM been postponed since its founding in 1954.
The measure will give national leagues the much-needed time to end the currently suspended season under somewhat normal circumstances. The key date is then June 30th, on which normally expiring contracts end. The German Football League announced on Monday that it wanted to play ghost games for the remaining games.
The German national team had qualified as the group leader for the European Championship. The DFB team France, Portugal and the winner of a playoff game had been drawn as opponents. A “hammer group” as national coach Joachim Low found. The national team wanted to make amends in the summer for the desolate World Cup in Russia two years ago, which had already ended for the German Football Association after the preliminary round. The EM model with host locations spread across the entire continent was chosen to celebrate the EM anniversary, proposed by former UEFA President Michel Platini. In addition to Munich and Rome, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Bilbao, St. Petersburg, Bucharest, Budapest, Baku, Glasgow, Dublin, and London were selected as hosts.
Agreement with FIFA necessary
The national team wanted to move to their base in Herzogenaurach in mid-June, about two hours from Munich’s Allianz Arena. A training camp in Austria was also on the schedule from the end of May. Low should have reported his final squad to Uefa by June 2, the first German group game against the French would have kicked off on June 16 in Munich.
Uefa had recently defended its tournament several times despite the increasing number of Corona cases. Again and again, the umbrella organization referred to the lively contact “with the responsible international and local authorities”. In several European leagues, it had long been decided to exclude spectators or even to suspend the game.