Two of this year’s major football championships, UEFA EURO 2020 and Copa America, have been delayed to 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak. The postponement was confirmed by the organisers for both tournaments in their respective media statements.
The UEFA EURO 2020 was originally planned to be played in June and July this year across 12 cities in 12 European countries. The organisers added that 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.
“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,” stated UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
The quadrennial EURO football tournament has been shifted to the proposed dates of 11 June to 11 July 2021, with no changes made to its venues. It’s also worth noting that 2020 was also originally planned to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.
On the other hand, Copa America organisers CONMEBOL’s statement to delay its major football tournament followed hours after UEFA’s decision. It was originally scheduled to kick off in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 12 June 2020 with the final in Barranquilla, Colombia on July 12. Participants of the tournament included 10 South American nations, as well as Australia and Qatar as special guests.
“This is an extraordinary measure for an unexpected situation and responds to the fundamental need to avoid the exponential evolution of the virus,” said CONMEBOL president Alejandro Dominguez. “It wasn’t easy to take this decision but we must safeguard at all times the health of our players and all those who form part of the big South American football family.”
Copa America is rescheduled to be played between 11 June and 11 July 2021, with no changes to its respective venues. This year’s tournament was supposed to be the last until 2024 as it becomes a regular quadrennial event.