European soccer’s governing body revealed that the national team competition will now take place next year from 11th June until 11th July 2021.
The decision comes in relation to allowing Europe’s domestic leagues more time to complete their current seasons, the majority of which have now been put on hold due to the spread of coronavirus.
The Financial Times had earlier reported that UEFA hopes postponing Euro 2020 would give national leagues the opportunity to resume fixtures in the summer – where space has been vacated.
Last week, UEFA called emergency video conference meetings for 17th March to discuss the future of both Euro 2020 and this season’s Champions League and Europa League club competitions.
Representatives from UEFA’s 55 member associations have been involved in the meetings, along with the boards of the European Club Association (ECA) and the European Leagues. Discussions also involved a spokesperson from FIFPro, the international representative body for professional soccer players.
Most of European soccer’s top leagues have taken action and suspended their competition in response to the spread of coronavirus, although there are still a small number going ahead either behind closed doors or in front of a limited number of spectators.
On Friday, England’s Premier League and Germany’s Bundesliga become the last of Europe’s ‘big five’ domestic competitions to postpone their fixtures, following similar decisions already taken by Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 in France and La Liga in Spain.
Euro 2020 had been scheduled to begin in Rome on 12th June and be held across 12 European cities, with the final taking place in London on 12th July.
The new dates mean it will likely clash with global governing body Fifa’s inaugural 24-team Club World Cup, which is currently slated to take place in China from 17th June until 4th July 2021.
UEFA’s Women’s European Championship is also scheduled for the summer of 2021 – starting four days before the new proposed end of the men’s competition. It remains to be seen how the governing body would adjust its calendar to fit in that tournament alongside the men’s event.