Saturday, January 16, 2021

Euro 2020 postponed: What impact will it have on other competitions?

According to the Norwegian FA, UEFA have decided to suspend Euro 2020 until next summer. Coronavirus has played havoc with the sporting calendar as just about every sporting league in the world has temporarily closed down.

EURO 2020 cancellation will allow domestic leagues to finish

Now, with the domestic leagues delayed, likely until summer at the very earliest, UEFA were left with little choice but to delay the championships. Many thought they would play the Euros in the winter instead, but they have opted for summer next year – which will have a knock on effect.

What it does mean is that the domestic leagues across Europe, which have all been left very much in limbo, should be able to be concluded during the summer months. There has been plenty of debate, especially here in England, on how we go about finishing the season with one or two misguided souls suggesting we declare it null and void.

With Liverpool so far ahead, it seems clear that they will go on to win the league – but most of us would like to see it happen properly in a full stadium, with a full set of fixtures on around it, post-virus peak.

The remaining issue for the leagues to deal with is player contracts. What will happen to those players out of contract on June 30th? Do they just leave during what will likely be the middle of the resumed season? Or do the FA shift the registration period? Do all clubs give those players an extra year on their deal? It’s a big issue.

Euro 2020

For now though, it seems as though we will get to see our domestic leagues be concluded AND get our European Championships next summer. That can only be a good thing right?

The effect on the other international tournaments

What this means for the likes of the UEFA Nations League remains to be seen, but you’d expect that the new European competition will likely be cancelled. Away from that, the Women’s European Championships are also set to be played next summer in England – causing a little bit of a scheduling headache.

The final of the women’s Euros is due to be played at Wembley on August 1. Meanwhile, both semi-finals, the final and all of England’s games are due to be played at Wembley, so they’ll need to make sure the competitions are played separately.

As it stands, the postponed EURO 2020 championship is set to be played from June 11th to July 11th 2021. The women’s Euro’s from July 7th to August 1st, the Nations League finals from June 2nd to June 6th and a new format, expanded FIFA Club World Cup set to be played in June too.

To add to all of that, the U21 European Championship is due to be played from the 9-26th June. Basically, there is a LOT of football scheduled for next summer and surely some of it is going to have to be cancelled.

For me, they should bin off the Nations League finals – it’s just unnecessary added fixtures. Also, the FIFA Club World Cup will need to be rescheduled – it’s not feasible to have club football during an international tournament. Getting rid of those two tournaments from the summer gets rid of most of the congestion.

It does still leave the U21 European Championships in limbo a little bit but it is possible to have both on at the same time given there will be no stadium clashes. The senior championships will be played all across Europe while the U21 championships will be played across Hungary and Slovenia.

The Puskas Arena in Budapest will be used in the senior competition, but won’t be used at all for the U21 championships. In terms of selection, the Football Associations can simply just give the senior sides first pick on players, and the U21 teams get to choose from the remaining pool of players.

All-in-all, there is little need to reschedule the U21 championships as they can fairly easily co-exist. As can the men and women’s Euros as the Women’s game will be starting just as the men’s is winding down. The only stadium clash there is Wembley, which will only be used for the women’s final on August 1st, long after the men finish.

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