The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has made the decision to postpone several youth national team competitions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
UEFA, in consultation with its 55 member associations, believes that the delay will lessen the pressure on national football associations and allow for youth national team football to be preserved.
The 2019/20 Women’s Under-17 elite round and tournament has been cancelled. In the event that the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup goes ahead next year, the top three European teams will qualify.
The elite round of the 2019/20 Men’s Under-19 tournament will be played in October 2020, with the final tournament to be held in Northern Ireland. The group stage is scheduled for November 2020 and the knockout stage for March 2021.
For 2020/21 competitions, qualifying matches have been reduced and moved to next year.
The Men’s and Women’s Under-17 tournaments are still planned to be held in May of 2021, with elite rounds being cancelled.
Qualifying rounds for the Women’s and Men’s Under-19 tournaments will be played in February and March respectively.
Belarus is set to host the Women’s Under-19 tournament as scheduled in July if next year while Romania will still host the Men’s Under-19 tournament as planned also in July of 2021.
“In order to alleviate the additional operational and financial burden on national associations – caused by hygiene conditions impacting travel and accommodation, as well as testing to safeguard the health of athletes and minimize any potential risk of spreading the infection – the following decisions were made regarding UEFA youth national team competitions,” UEFA said in a statement.
Meanwhile the UEFA Youth League returned yesterday at the Colovray Sports Centre in Nyon, Switzerland.
“The UEFA Youth League – even if no spectators can attend matches this year – is an extremely important event, both for European football and for our town. We’ll be delighted if the local public are able to return to watch the competition under normal conditions in 2021,” Mayor of Nyon, Daniel Rossellat said.
The final will be held on August 25.
Matches are being played without spectators, however fans are able to stream the games for free on UEFA.tv.