Coronavirus: Euro 2020 postponed until next summer

Euro 2020 is being postponed for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak, UEFA has confirmed.

European football’s governing body said its other tournaments and matches were also on hold “until further notice”.

That means the Champions League and Europa League are paused for the time being.

UEFA said a “working group” was being set up to “examine possibilities” for the two tournaments, which see Europe’s best clubs face each other and are worth tens of millions in revenue.

Euro 2020 was due to be played across Europe in 12 different countries, including England, and is now pencilled in for 11 June – 11 July 2021.

A UEFA statement said suspending the tournament would help domestic leagues to hopefully finish their seasons.

“The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches,” it said.

“The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed.”

If people with Euro 2020 tickets cannot attend next year, the face value of their tickets and packages will be refunded.

The move follows the suspension of football in all five of Europe’s top domestic leagues – England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany, along with the Champions League, Europa League and World Cup qualifiers.

Another summer tournament, the Copa America, has also been postponed for 12 months, the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) has said.

That tournament had originally been scheduled from 12 June to 12 July in Argentina and Colombia.

The International Olympic Committee is also meeting on Tuesday.

Organisers of this summer’s Tokyo games have so far been adamant the sporting festival will go ahead.

Meanwhile, the boss of Formula One has apologised for the last-minute cancellation of the Australian Grand Prix.

The opening round of the new season was called off 90 minutes before the first practice session was due to take place, provoking widespread criticism.

Chase Carey said: “We apologise to those fans affected by the cancellation in Australia, as well as the postponement of the other races to date.

“These decisions are being made by Formula One, the FIA, and our local promoters in rapidly changing and evolving circumstances… we plan to get the 2020 championship season underway as soon as it’s safe to do so.”

The Azerbaijan race in June is seen as the most likely starting point.

Growing numbers of sporting events and leagues have been postponed or cancelled since the scale of the outbreak became clear.

On Monday, next month’s Grand National was called off and both rugby codes, union and league, suspended their seasons.

Horse racing will go behind closed doors at all meetings in Britain from Tuesday, initially until the end of April.

However, the Jockey Club, which runs the Grand National said that was not feasible for the famous Aintree steeplechase.

Football’s National League has suspended matches until at least 3 April, while the Football Association announced it is “advising that all grassroots football in England is postponed for the foreseeable future”.

In Scotland, all fixtures have been postponed until the Scottish Football Association and government decide otherwise.

Cricket’s T20 Pakistan Super League announced on Tuesday morning that the competition had been postponed after former England batsman Alex Hales developed symptoms.

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