Opinion: Why Pushing Euro 2020 Amid Coronavirus Outbreak Might Be A Problem For UEFA

ROME, ITALY - MAY 15: Sergej Milinkovic Savic celebrates victory after the TIM Cup Final match between Atalanta BC and SS Lazio at Stadio Olimpico on May 15, 2019 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Marco Rosi/Getty Images)

With various football leagues across Europe getting suspended due to Coronavirus pandemic, everyone in the footballing hierarchy is in an unprecedented situation. With millions and billions of pounds riding on various football leagues, the countries would undoubtedly need some more time to complete their season. Here we look at whether pushing Euro 2020 amid coronavirus outbreak to 2021 a possibility or not?

However, we don’t know yet whether suspending a league even for a month would solve the current pandemic. But for now, that seems to be the best solution with most European countries going into lockdown. The final game of the current season is supposed to be played on May 30 which is the Champions League final.

The Euro 2020 is supposed to start on June 12, 13 days after the final in Istanbul. With most leagues getting delayed, it seems like the best solution would be for UEFA to push the Euro to 2021. However, there is a significant problem with pushing the Euros to next year.

To make matters worse, UEFA has decided to allow multiple nations to host the tournament with as many as 12 countries hosting the 2020 edition. The first match is supposed to be played in Rome, which seems highly unlikely to go through with the current scenario in Italy. With a lot of travelling involved, this is certainly turning out to be the worst year to have multiple hosts for a tournament.

Why Pushing Euro to 2021 will create problems for UEFA?

MADRID, SPAIN – FEBRUARY 26: Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid looks dejected as he leaves the pitch after receiving a red card during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at Bernabeu on February 26, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Pushing the Euros to 2021 could be a big problem for the UEFA. UEFA will have a Nations League to complete, FIFA will have their World Cup qualifiers to fit in and, they are also looking to conduct a 24 team Club World Cup in 2021. All those could be in jeopardy if Euro is to be held in 2021. Will FIFA and UEFA be able willing to take those hits to comply with football leagues? Only time will tell that. Oh and not to forget there are African Cup of Nations, Women’s Euro and CONCACAF Gold Cup to be held in 2021 as well. However, pushing it to the next year seems to be the most reasonable solution at the moment.

The most logical and more straightforward solution right now, might not be as easy as it sounds though. Maybe if the situation improves from now on in the coming months, we think that UEFA might even prefer to host the Euro behind closed doors only for the broadcasters instead of pushing it to 2021.

Players are other essential stakeholders in this, and they can’t be treated as cattle here. Their viewpoint might also be needed to be taken into consideration. Quite a few of them might worry about travelling to and fro between various European countries for the tournament. Hence, as things stand, something will have to give way, and someone might have to bend. Whether it will be UEFA, national team boards, football leagues or the players, only time will tell. Or maybe the virus would bend everyone and there will be no football for the rest of the year and people like me would be out of jobs.

Sports Management Graduate. Wannabe sports manager/writer and researcher. If not found disscussing about sports, will be seen talking about movies or tv shows. Miserable rest of the times.