UEFA are set to announce the postponement of Euro 2020 until next summer due to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). According to reports, most nations have pleaded with Europe’s football governing body to push this summer’s European Championship back until next summer but UEFA insisted that it will meet next week to discuss the way forward.
FutballNews understands that UEFA could also postpone this season’s Champions League and Europa League to next summer as many top leagues have been suspended and those that are still playing are taking precautionary measures such as playing behind closed doors and avoiding handshake.
In a statement on Thursday, UEFA said its members will meet via videoconference next week to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak. Euro 2020 is set to be played across 12 separate nations to celebrate the tournament’s 60th anniversary.
The statement reads: “In the light of the ongoing developments in the spread of COVID-19 across Europe and the changing analysis of the World Health Organisation, UEFA has today invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to attend meetings by videoconference on Tuesday 17 March to discuss European football’s response to the outbreak.
“Discussions will include all domestic and European competitions, including UEFA EURO 2020.
“Further communication will be made following those meetings.“
UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin had earlier said that there was no need for it to make any decisions regarding the tournament. He added that no calls regarding this summer’s European Championship will be rushed into.
He said: “We are dealing with it and we are confident we can deal with it.
“You don’t know how many big concerns we have: we have security concerns, political instability and one is also the virus. Let’s try to be optimistic, not think about dark scenarios – there’s time for that later.”
UEFA’s General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis also said that the governing body does not want to speculate what will happen ahead of the tournament.
He said: “We do not want to speculate what will happen in three or four months’ time.
“We are addressing the situation already by making contact with the World Health Organisation [WHO] and different governments as well.
“We have acknowledged the situation but we do not want to over-react. We have created a line of contact.”
Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has confirmed on Thursday that three of his players are currently in self-isolation after showing symptoms of Coronavirus. In his press conference today, Rodgers has confirmed that “a few” of his players are being kept away from the rest of the squad.
“We’ve had a few players that have shown symptoms and signs (of coronavirus). We’ve followed procedures and (as a precaution) they have been kept away from the squad,” he explained.