UEFA held crisis talks this morning amid the worldwide coronavirus outbreak and the decision was made to push the Euros tournament back to 2021.
The tournament that was due to open on June 12 in Rome is now scheduled for next year from June 11 to July 11, in the same 12 host nations.
The virus currently “makes football and all life in Europe quite impossible,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.
“We think postponing the Euro is the only (way) to get a chance to the national leagues and to all the club competitions to finish,” Ceferin said.
The UEFA executive committee made the decision after hosting a video conference call with its 55 national member federations.
The European Championship final typically attracts a broadcast audience of 300 million worldwide and the 51-game tournament made UEFA a profit of 830 million euros ($912 million) four years ago.
“Moving Euro 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA,” Ceferin said in a statement.
The freeze on games amid the pandemic has also put broadcasting deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars on hold and could lead to the 2019-20 season being annulled in some competitions.
Completing domestic league seasons would allow titles to be awarded and decide entries for the next Champions League and Europa League. If resuming the season is possible, UEFA’s options to complete this season include playing the quarterfinals and semifinals as single games instead of over two legs where each team has a home match.
Sourced by: Associated Press