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Euro 2020 and Copa América postponed due to coronavirus crisis

The competition will take place in June and July next year.

A Logo of the UEFA Euro 2020 is seen at a countdown clock... Photo by Sergei Mikhailichenko/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

UEFA announced that Euro 2020 will become Euro 2021. The continent-spanning competition has been pushed back a year, and will now take place between June 11 and July 11 of next summer.

The tournament was due to take place in 12 countries across Europe, from Azerbaijan to Ireland. However, in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis and the shutdowns of many competing nations, the idea of hundreds of footballers and thousands of fans mixing freely across the continent became obviously untenable.

However, UEFA is still intending to hold the playoffs for Euro 2021, which will determine the last four teams involved, this year. According to their press release they will “be played in the international window at the start of June,” assuming the situation permits. Quite why they have to be held so far in advance isn’t immediately obvious, but at least there’s plenty of time for them to be postponed again.

This move, in theory, frees up space for the European leagues to finish their seasons, most of which are currently suspended until at least April and likely beyond. According to UEFA: “A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today.”

Of course, there was already a Euro 2021 scheduled — the UEFA Women’s Championship was due to take place in England from July 7. UEFA have made no formal announcement yet, but it is being reported in Sweden that this too has been pushed back a year, to summer 2022. Ordinarily this might clash with the men’s World Cup, but that is taking place in Qatar in the winter.

Elsewhere, this summer’s Copa América, due to be held in Argentina and Colombia, has also been postponed until next summer. The re-scheduled competition will run on the same proposed dates as Euro 2021, June 11 to July 11.