Euros 2020: The decision to postpone the tournament must be welcomed

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) took a drastic step in light of the coronavirus threat across the world to postpone its flagship national team competition, the European Championships for 12 months till June 2021. The competition was earlier supposed to be held in June and July this year. This decision comes in the wake of all domestic competitions in Europe being suspended in response to the global pandemic.

This is an unprecedented move taken by the UEFA but the logic behind it makes sense. The Champions League, Europa League, Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 along with other club competitions have been put on hold by their respective national football associations in line with their governments' directives to stop all sporting activities and UEFA's decision will now give them time and breathing space to complete the seasons and events in time. If it also means that if the club competitions have to go on till June or July, or later, then so be it.

UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin announced the decision on Tuesday and thanked Alejandro Domínguez of CONMEBOL (as the South American Football Confederation also moved its national team competition to 2021) and FIFA president Gianni Infantino for making it clear that the parent footballing body will do everything possible to make this new calendar work. Earlier supposed to be held from 12 June to 12 July, it will now be held from 11 June to 11 July 2021.

The decision made by the UEFA to push the European Championship back by a year needs to be welcomed by all football clubs. This means that all national club competitions will now go on unhindered and their rightful winners crowned, whenever and whoever that may be. There were fears that the rest of the league season would be nullified due to the coronavirus outbreak and to accomodate the EURO 2020, but now these worries can be put to rest.

The UEFA Champions League too, can go on without having to be invalidated. This competition is certain to have a new winner this year as defending champions Liverpool FC were defeated by Atlético Madrid at the round of 16 stage. It is reaching its climactic stages and it would have been unfair to the viewers and clubs to see the tournament getting cancelled. The clubs can now rejoice knowing that their interests have been taken care of by the UEFA.

The only problem this decision has led to is a jam-packed calendar in the months of June and July in 2021. The UEFA's Nations League, U21 competition and women's competitions are all vying for equal space along with the Euros. However, this should not be too big an issue as it has to be remembered that desperate times call for desperate measures and that is exactly what the UEFA has taken right now.

Also see | Q&A: UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin on moving Euros to 2021

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Edited by rehaan díaz
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