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Fate of Euro 2020 to be determined as UEFA set for crisis meeting

Update: March, 17/2020 - 10:46

 

UEFA has a big decision to make about whether to postpone Euro 2020 when it holds a crisis meeting on Tuesday. — AFP/VNA Photo

NYON — Euro 2020 could be postponed by up to a year, with all the sporting and financial consequences that would entail, when UEFA holds a crisis meeting on Tuesday as Europe battles the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

European football's governing body will hold a videoconference with representatives from all 55 member associations as well as from clubs and players bodies. UEFA will then hold an executive committee meeting at 1400 (1300 GMT) at their Swiss headquarters.

The future of the European Championship, due to take place for the first time in a dozen different cities spread across the continent from June 12 to July 12, is up in the air along with those of the Champions League and Europa League.

The "dark scenarios" that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin warned against envisaging when he spoke at the organisation's congress in Amsterdam just two weeks ago now have to be considered.

All of Europe's leading domestic leagues ground to a halt last week, while UEFA suspended all Champions League and Europa League games due to be played this week. Both tournaments are still in the last-16 stage.

Europe has become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, with Italy and Spain on lockdown, France rapidly following suit, and other countries closing borders to halt the spread of the outbreak.

More than 1,800 people have died in Italy, which is supposed to host the opening game of Euro 2020 in Rome.

Postponed for a year? 

The head of the Italian football federation, Gabriele Gravina, has already proposed that the Euros be postponed, with Italy coach Roberto Mancini calling for it to pushed back 12 months.

"We would have won the European Championship this summer, we can also win it in 2021," Mancini told television station Rai Sport.

It is a position that many across the continent are coming round to amid much uncertainty as to when club football can resume.

"UEFA has no choice. They have to postpone the Euros and the Champions League," one senior figure in the world game said, although finding agreement across the board may not be easy.

"There are people who want to play, and others who don't," French football federation president Noel Le Graet told broadcaster TF1. — AFP

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