UEFA postpone Euro 2020 for a year according to Norwegian FA

By PA Sport Staff
PA Media: Sport

UEFA has decided to postpone the European Championship until 2021 due to the coronavirus, according to the Norwegian Football Federation.

European football stakeholders convened on Tuesday to discuss the impact and fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Euro 2020 has been chief among the topics and the widely-expected delay to the tournament was announced by football’s governing body in Norway.

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In a post on Twitter, the NFF said: “UEFA has decided that the European Championship is postponed to 2021. It will be played from 11 June to 11 July next year. More information coming.”

The tournament had been due to be played between June 12 and July 12 this summer, in 12 cities across Europe with Wembley hosting the semi-finals and final.

The postponement became the most viable option given the huge disruption caused to the 2019-20 domestic competitions across Europe, and to this season’s Champions League and Europa League.

Wembley is due to host the semi-finals and final (Bradley Collyer/PA)
Wembley is due to host the semi-finals and final (Bradley Collyer/PA)

It is now likely that the play-offs to decide the final four places at the tournament – which were due to be played later this month – can be postponed until later this year.

The decision may also have an impact on the Women’s Euros, due to be played in the summer of 2021.

It remains to be seen whether that tournament now moves to the summer of 2022, with the men’s World Cup of that year not due to be played until the winter.

It also presents a clash with FIFA’s expanded 24-team Club World Cup, due to take place in the summer of 2021 in China.

Moving the Euros means domestic championships have further time to be played out to a finish.

A number of host associations contacted by the PA news agency on Monday had been understood to be prepared to switch the tournament to the summer of 2021 if that was the consensus from Tuesday’s meeting.

In cricket, England batsman Alex Hales has revealed he is in self-isolation after developing coronavirus symptoms.

The 31-year-old returned home early from the Pakistan Super League on Saturday, and began feeling ill on Sunday.

In a statement released to the PA news agency, Hales said: “I awoke early on Sunday morning having developed a fever and followed the government’s advice of self-isolation, a process I am obviously still following having developed a dry and persistent cough.

“At this stage it has not been possible to be tested although I am hopeful that might be the case later today so that I can get absolute confirmation of my current health status.”

The Pakistan Super League has subsequently been postponed, on the day the semi-finals were due to take place.

Along with Hales, Tom Banton and James Vince had also already left the country, while Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara and Chris Jordan were among those expected to feature in Lahore on Tuesday.

James Vince was among the England players to come home early from the Pakistan Super League (Tim Goode/PA)
James Vince was among the England players to come home early from the Pakistan Super League (Tim Goode/PA)

The worldwide sporting calendar continued to be decimated by the pandemic with racing, snooker, athletics, boxing, cycling and swimming all called off.

All racing in Britain will be suspended from Wednesday until the end of April,  the British Horseracing Authority has announced.

The news follows Monday’s statement that British racing would initially be run behind closed doors until the end of March, while Jockey Club Racecourses announced that the Randox Health Grand National meeting had been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tuesday’s scheduled meetings at Wetherby and Taunton will go ahead behind closed doors.

The BHA said the decision will be kept under “constant review”.

Meanwhile snooker’s Coral Tour Championship has been postponed along with the first three Diamond League athletics meetings of the season.

The World Snooker Tour had been hopeful its event, which was due to start in Llandudno on Tuesday, could take place behind closed doors.

But a statement read: “WST and ITV Sport have taken the decision to postpone this week’s Coral Tour Championship in Llandudno as a precaution against the spread of coronavirus.

“We appreciate this is very short notice and a disappointment for the fans and the television audience, however the assessment could only be made at short notice after yesterday’s announcement from the government which came at 5pm.”

The prestigious Diamond League meetings scheduled for April 17, in Qatar, and May 9 and 16, in China, are likely to be pushed back until after the Olympics.

The Wanda Diamond League said it hopes to be able to stage the planned meeting in Shanghai on August 13.

Meanwhile, Manchester United have scrapped plans to return to training on Tuesday, the PA news agency understands.

In Italy 10 Juventus Women players are self-isolating, although the club say all are asymptomatic.

Melrose have postponed their annual rugby sevens – the oldest competition of its kind in the world which dates back to 1883.

The British Boxing Board of Control has announced that “all public tournaments” under its jurisdiction have been cancelled, and the position will be reviewed in early April.

British Cycling has suspending all activities until at least April 30, as has Welsh Athletics.

British Swimming has confirmed that the Diving World Series event scheduled for London later this month has been postponed.

The British Swimming Championships and the British Para-Swimming International Meet – both scheduled for April – have been cancelled.

British Eventing has suspended all fixtures with immediate effect, just a fortnight after the scheduled eight-month season began.

The Land Rover Kentucky Horse Trials in the United States – won for the last two years by Britain’s world number one Oliver Townend and due to be held from April 23-26 – has been cancelled for the first time in its 42-year history.

The final Hillsborough memorial service, which was due to take place at Anfield on April 15, has also been postponed.

The families of the 96 Liverpool supporters who died 31 years ago had decided to hold a last service after former police match commander David Duckenfield was cleared of gross negligence manslaughter following a retrial in November.

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