is expected to postpone Euro 2020 by up to a year on Tuesday, as
European football's governing body considers its response to the fallout
of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
All of Europe's leading domestic leagues ground to a halt last week
with football confronting its biggest issue in modern times, and the
fate of UEFA's Champions League and Europa League competitions must also
UEFA will hold a video conference with representatives from all 55
member associations as well as from clubs and players bodies. It will
then hold an executive committee meeting at 15:00 SA time at its Swiss
The future of the European Championship, due to take place for the
first time in a dozen different cities spread across the continent from
12 June to 12 July, is up in the air.
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.
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 2 100 people have died in Italy, which is supposed to host the opening game of Euro 2020 in Rome.
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 told AFP,
although finding agreement across the board may not be easy.
German league chief Christian Seifert believes postponing the European Championship is inevitable.
"I firmly count on the fact the tournament will be postponed,"
"The probability that we have a perfect Euros this summer
is measured by a number close to zero."
German broadcaster ZDF reported that two possible options are on the table.
One is to push it back to 2021, although that is not as simple as it
might appear, as it would need FIFA president Gianni Infantino to agree
to halting the inaugural edition of his highly lucrative Club World Cup,
due to take place in June and July next year in China with some of
Europe's top club sides involved.
FIFA offered "no comment" on Monday on the matter.
There is also the issue of the women's European Championship,
scheduled to run from 7 July to 1 August next year in England, with the
final at Wembley. The London venue is also supposed to hold the
semi-finals and final of Euro 2020. UEFA have also planned to stage an
Under-21 Euros in Hungary and Slovenia in June next year.
The alternative option for UEFA, according to ZDF, is to maintain a Euro 2020 by playing it later in the year.
that the crisis will have calmed down by then, and there is also the
issue of all the other football that has been suspended.
UEFA may come to a decision to try to complete the Champions League
and Europa League by curtailing the competitions, meaning ties up to the
semi-finals could be decided in one-off matches.
Financially, UEFA would undoubtedly prefer postponing their flagship
tournaments to cancelling them altogether, or playing matches behind
"The financial stakes are enormous," according to one senior figure
in the international game.
"We know that FIFA has significant reserves
but we don't know about UEFA or the different leagues."