European Championships postponed until 2021

UEFA has confirmed that this summer’s European Championships are to be postponed until 2021 with the Republic of Ireland’s play-off against Slovakia provisionally pencilled in for the start of June.

The decision was made following a video conference with all 55 of the governing body’s national associations.

“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,” a statement from UEFA read. “The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the Covid-19 emergency, to be completed.”

It was confirmed that with all UEFA club and international football suspended until at least the end of March, Ireland’s semi-final play-off with Slovakia is set to take place during the international window at the start of June, “subject to a review of the situation”.

Mick McCarthy was supposed to step aside for Stephen Kenny to assume control after this summer’s championships. With the finals put back a year, it is unclear what will happen now with Mick McCarthy’s tenure as Irish boss.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said the decision to move the tournament was the only responsible option.

“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.

“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.

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