|NYON: UEFA today announced the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA EURO 2020, due to be played in June and July this year. The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches. The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed.All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice. The UEFA EURO 2020 Play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation.A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today.
The decisions, taken by UEFA’s Executive Committee, followed videoconference meetings held today with the Presidents and General Secretaries of the 55 national associations, as well as representatives of the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPro Europe, convened by UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, to find a coherent plan to break the logjam of fixtures building up due to the spread of the virus across the continent.
Announcing the decisions, Aleksander Čeferin said:
“We are at the helm of a sport that vast numbers of people live and breathe that has been laid low by this invisible and fast-moving opponent. It is at times like these, that the football community needs to show responsibility, unity, solidarity and altruism.
“The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football. There was a real spirit of co-operation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.
“It was important that, as the governing body of European football, UEFA led the process and made the biggest sacrifice. Moving EURO 2020 comes at a huge cost for UEFA but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women’s football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected. Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole.
“Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadia, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.
“I would like to thank the European Club Association, the European Leagues and FIFPro Europe for their great work today and for their cooperation. I would also like to thank from the bottom of my heart the 55 national associations, their Presidents and General Secretaries, and my colleagues from the Executive Committee for their support and wise decisions. The fine detail will be worked out in the coming weeks but the basic principles have been agreed and that is a major step forward. We have all shown that we are responsible leaders. We have demonstrated solidarity and unity. Purpose over profit. We’ve achieved this today.
“I would also like to thank Alejandro Dominguez and CONMEBOL, who have agreed to move CONMEBOL’s 2020 Copa America in order to follow the recommendations issued by the international public health organisations to enact extreme measures and as a result of EURO 2020 being postponed. This means that clubs and leagues in Europe will have as little disruption as possible in the availability of their players. These joint efforts and especially this coordinated and responsible decision, are deeply appreciated by the whole European football community.
“I would like to thank FIFA and its President, Gianni Infantino, who has indicated it will do whatever is required to make this new calendar work. In the face of this crisis, football has shown its best side with openness, solidarity and tolerance.”
UEFA EURO 2020 was scheduled to take place in twelve cities across Europe from 12 June to 12 July 2020. The proposed new dates are 11 June – 11 July 2021. UEFA would like to reassure existing ticket buyers and hospitality clients that if they cannot attend the tournament in 2021, the face value of their tickets and packages will be refunded in full. Within the next month, further information on the refund process will be communicated to existing ticket buyers via e-mail and on euro2020.com/tickets.
Decisions on dates for other UEFA competitions, whether club or national team for men or women, will be taken and announced in due course.
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ECA Executive Board supports decision to postpone UEFA EURO 2020
GENEVA: The ECA Executive Board supports the decision taken today by the UEFA Executive Committee
(ExCo) to postpone UEFA EURO 2020 until 2021 with the aim of maximising the chances of
concluding domestic and UEFA Club Competitions for the season 2019/20. This decision has
been taken following deep and regular engagement between the leadership of UEFA, ECA and
other stakeholders, and is driven with the sole aim of minimising the negative impact of the
COVID-19 virus on European football and on society as a whole.
In the days and weeks ahead, ECA will participate actively and with full focus and commitment
in the Working Group co-ordinated by UEFA, which has been mandated to develop and shape
the practicalities around managing the calendar to maximise the chances of concluding the
remaining club games of the 2019/20 season and tackle the wider consequences of COVID-19
on the game.
Beyond the immediate focus around the game, it is important to reiterate European football’s
total commitment to supporting all efforts to combat the spread of the virus and its impact on
society as a whole.
Following today’s decision, ECA Chairman and UEFA ExCo member Andrea Agnelli stated:
“Europe is facing its biggest challenge in a generation, one which is impacting all levels of society
including football. The challenge to our game is massive and as leaders we have a responsibility to
do all we can to protect its long-term well-being by mitigating the impact of the virus. Today’s
decision to postpone the UEFA EURO 2020 is testament to the unity and collaborative efforts of
professional game stakeholders to engage in collective decision-making in the best interest of the
game. The focus now will be to come up with solutions to conclude the 2019/20 club season in the
most practical manner and, beyond that, ensure football, like society as a whole, returns as quickly
as possible to its natural form and rhythm.”
UEFA, the European Club Association, European Leagues and FIFPRO Europe sign joint resolution
|1. UEFA convened today an urgent meeting via videoconference with representatives of the European Club Association (“ECA”), European Leagues (“EL”) and FIFPRO Europe (altogether referred to as “the Parties”) to reflect, as a group, on the unique set of circumstances European football is facing as a result of the ongoing global health crisis created by the COVID-19 pandemic and discuss sensible solutions for the European football family to cope with this unsettling, challenging and unprecedented situation.
2. As representatives of the major professional football organisations at European level, the Parties consider it is their duty to take a responsible lead in developing a united European approach in response to the global pandemic which has led to the suspension of the vast majority of competitions on the continent.
3. With this in mind, and while reiterating their fundamental commitment to protecting the health, safety, and well-being of players, clubs, supporters, officials, staff and the broader football community, the Parties discussed and unanimously agreed on the principles of a contingency plan regarding the 2019-20 sporting season.
4. These principles include the following:
• • National team competitions:
– The play-off qualifying matches of the UEFA EURO 2020 scheduled to be played in March 2020 will be postponed until the international windows of June 2020, subject to a review of the situation.
– The final tournament of the UEFA EURO 2020, which was set to take place from 12 June to 12 July 2020, will be postponed to 11 June to 11 July 2021. This will help to ensure that the UEFA EURO 2020 can be a great celebration of football for all the supporters across the continent.
– European qualifiers matchdays 3 and 4 currently scheduled to take place in June 2021 will be re-scheduled.
– The UEFA Nations League Finals, the final tournament of the UEFA U21 EURO and the UEFA Women’s EURO all scheduled between June and July 2021 will be re-scheduled accordingly.
– Clubs will release players to national teams for all rescheduled tournaments.
• • Club competitions:
– A commitment to complete all domestic and European club competitions by the end of the current sporting season, i.e. 30 June 2020 at the latest, should the situation improve and resuming playing be appropriate and prudent enough.
– Possible limitations or drops of current exclusive calendar slots, potentially resulting in the scheduling of domestic league matches in mid-week and scheduling of UEFA club competitions matches on weekends.
– Possible adaptations of the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualifying rounds in case of late completion of the 2019/20 sporting season, i.e. after 30 June 2020.
• • Working groups:
– A working group composed of representatives from UEFA, leagues and clubs will be immediately established to examine relevant calendar matters and devise solutions allowing for the resumption and/or conclusion of the current season in a coherent manner.
– A second working group composed of representatives from UEFA, leagues, clubs and players will be set-up at a later stage to assess the economic, financial and regulatory impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and propose measures to help mitigate the consequences of the pandemic.
5. The Parties are convinced that this contingency plan is the best course of action at this moment in time. It takes into consideration the advice of international health experts as well as the restrictive orders issued by national governments and local authorities. It also allows for flexibility, as events warrant, with the hope of resuming play in front of football fans everywhere across the European territory as soon as it is appropriate and prudent, so that the current sporting season can be completed.
6. The Parties will continue to closely monitor the situation on a daily basis and, in the meantime, encourage the broader football community to take all reasonable precautions.
7. Finally, the Parties wish to stress that their thoughts are with all individuals and communities that have been impacted by the COVID-19.
Aleksander Čeferin, UEFA President
Andrea Agnelli ECA, Chairman
Lars-Christer Olsson, EL President
Bobby Barnes, FIFPRO Europe President
The resolution, signed by the relevant parties can be viewed here.