Football: European championships postponed to 2021 due to coronavirus

UEFA, the European Football Union announced that the European Championships UEFA Euro 2020, a tournament to which Poland qualified, will be postponed and take place in 2021 because of the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Rumours and speculation about the possible postponing of UEFA EURO 2020 were present in the media since nearly the beginning of the pandemic and the start of the suspension of national football competitions.

On Tuesday, a special video-conference of representatives of UEFA and all 55 national football federations, along with club and leagues’ and players associations took place. Around 2pm CET, the Polish Football Association (PZPN) confirmed on social media that the tournament will be postponed. The new date assumes that the event will take place between June 11 and July 11.

Moreover, the qualifying play-offs for this tournament, originally scheduled for March, were postponed to June this year. The new dates also apply for the Polish team’s friendly games against Finland and Ukraine.

“The decisions made by UEFA include optimistic variants. This is a general sketch of potential scenarios, but upcoming weeks will show whether realising them is possible,” Zbigniew Boniek, the head of PZPN was quoted as saying in a statement.

The delay affected the upcoming matches of the World Cup 2022 qualifiers initially scheduled for June 2021. They will be played over another term.

In terms of club competition, UEFA wrote that “should the situation allow for such a solution, maximum efforts will be taken to finish all the European and national competitions by June 30, 2020. In Poland, Legia Warsaw is in the lead, ahead of the champions Piast Gliwice and Cracovia.

The developing coronavirus epidemic has led authorities of nearly all UEFA-associated leagues to call off football competition. As it stands, only Ukrainian and Turkish leagues continue their struggle, yet without the participation of spectators.