The Italian Serie A was the first major European championship to suspend its matches indefinitely. One by one, all the important leagues followed suit, with the Premier League being the last flagship championship to go in recess. Not surprisingly, UEFA officials decided that the Euro 2020 can no longer be held securely and decided to postpone the event for 2021. Instead of simply delaying the tournament, they chose to move it to next summer, so that priority will be given to domestic championships.
Euro 2020 suspension agreed unanimously
UEFA was quick to act and decided to suspend both the Champions League and the Europa League competitions. This decision foreshadowed the announcement that the Euro 2020 will be delayed until the summer of 2021. The European organization had a meeting with the representatives from all the 55 member associations before making this decision. The discussions ended in a rather predictable fashion, as the participants agreed that the European championship should be suspended for one year.
In the teleconference between UEFA officials and the representatives of participating nations other topics were also discussed. One by one the national football bodies decided to suspend their national leagues and these actually went well beyond the European borders. Most of the premier championships, as well as the lower football leagues in other countries are on recess indefinitely. Euro 2020 isn’t the only international tournament postponed, as the Copa America fixtures were also moved from this summer to 2021.
Europe’s top football leagues in the spotlight
The postponement of the Euro 2020 will provide the teams with the opportunity to focus exclusively on the domestic championships. Ideally, these will resume in a not so distant future and the most important European football leagues will reach their inevitable conclusion. For the time being, it is unclear how the national bodies will handle the crisis and when they will decide to restart the seasons. Football is not the top concern for the governments of European countries who have imposed an avalanche of restrictions.
The unprecedented solidarity move in vote by UEFA should at least grant the European football clubs a better chance to finish the ongoing championships. The health of those involved remains the top priority, so the championships won’t resume until the pandemic is over or at least in recess. As for the Euro 2020, an entire year should be more than enough for the competition to be organized properly and enjoy the attention that it deserves. The national teams will have sufficient time to bring in the best players, so they have the chance to train together and deliver the best possible performance.
UEFA still has plenty of challenges to overcome, as it scrambles to find a solution for wrapping up the Champions League and Europa League competitions this summer. International friendly and Euro 2020 playoff matches were delayed for early June, but this deadline can be extended if the pandemic continues.