KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: UEFA has confirmed that the finals of the European Women’s Championship in England will be shifted from 2021 to 2022.
A video conference of the executive committee today set the new dates as July 6-31 using the same venues originally proposed.
The decision removes any clash between the European event and the Tokyo Olympic Games tournament, now in 2021, which is highly important to the development and visibility of the women’s game.
UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “When we had to take an urgent decision on the postponement of Euro 2020 we always had the impact on UEFA Women’s Euro in mind.
“We have carefully considered all options, with our commitment to the growth of women’s football at the forefront of our thinking. By moving UEFA Women’s Euro to the following year, we are ensuring that our flagship women’s competition will be the only major football tournament of the summer, providing it with the spotlight it deserves.”
The decision came after UEFA decided on March 17 to postpone the men’s Euro 2020 finals after the global outbreak of COVID-19.
Subsequent discussions included talks with organisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with whom UEFA and the Football Association continue to work.
Nadine Kessler, the former Germany captain who is now UEFA’s chief of women’s football, said: “The core question guiding us together with the English FA was: What is best for women’s football?
“With the Olympics now being confirmed for summer 2021, we firmly believe that moving to 2022 is in the best interests of the tournament, the players, the fans, women’s football partners and everybody involved in all areas and at all levels of the game. UEFA Women’s EURO is Europe’s biggest women’s sport event.
“It is also among the biggest sports events in the world, and therefore needs and deserves a platform of its own.
“This decision puts us in a position to deliver a tournament that attracts global attention, maximises media coverage and increases stadium attendances, and is therefore helping us to meet our core objective of inspiring the next generation of footballers.”
The FA’s director of women’s football, Baroness Sue Campbell, said: “As a nation and at The FA, we are extremely proud to be hosting UEFA Women’s EURO 2021, and are fully committed to delivering a world-class experience for players, staff and fans alike as the best of the European game comes to England.
“However, the sporting calendar must adapt while the world tackles something much bigger than sport. In these unprecedented times, it should be reiterated that the health of our communities remains the absolute priority for us all.
“As a result, following discussions with UEFA, we fully support its decision to postpone UEFA Women’s Euro 2021. We agree that this decision will ultimately benefit the tournament, creating its own window in the football calendar. It will also allow us all more time following this challenging period to deliver an unforgettable event befitting of a home Euro.
“We have made excellent progress in the planning of the tournament to date, and particularly want to thank our host cities and venues for their ongoing commitment and support. We are also grateful to the Commonwealth Games Federation for its collaboration as we sought to confirm these new dates, and look forward to working together to showcase the best of women’s sport across both of our events.”
Further details, including potential amendments to the match calendar or the name of the tournament, will be announced in due course.