International, Domestic and UEFA Club fixtures will see sweeping changes, as efforts by UEFA, CONMEBOL and FIFA are to converge to get 2019-20 campaigns completed and update the football calendar.
All football competitions around the world have been brought to a halt by the Covid-19 outbreak.
Euro 2020 Update
European football’s governing body UEFA have on Tuesday afternoon confirmed EURO 2020 will be postponed for a year, following the world outbreak of coronavirus.
The tournament was due to start on 12th June, but will now begin on 11th June 2021 due to the spread of the disease and the subsequent impact it has taken on most major European leagues.
- The play-off qualifying matches of the UEFA EURO 2020 scheduled to be played in March 2020 will be postponed until the international windows of June 2020, subject to a review of the situation.
- The final tournament of the UEFA EURO 2020, which was set to take place from 12th June to 12th July 2020, will be postponed to 11th June to 11th July 2021. This will help to ensure that the UEFA EURO 2020 can be a great celebration of football for all the supporters across the continent.
- European qualifiers matchdays 3 and 4 currently scheduled to take place in June 2021 will be re-scheduled.
- The UEFA Nations League Finals, the final tournament of the UEFA U21 EURO and the UEFA Women’s EURO all scheduled between June and July 2021 will be re-scheduled accordingly.
- Clubs will release players to national teams for all rescheduled tournaments.
Copa America 2020 Updates
Moments after EURO 2020 was postponed and moved to the summer of 2021; the Copa America tournament will follow suit. The tournament was due to be held in Argentina and Colombia from 12th June to 12th July this summer, but the plan is now to play the tournament in the summer of 2021 from 11th June to 11th July.
With so many of South America’s top players currently playing in Europe, which is now the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, this decision had to come before players tried to return home to Brazil, Argentina and beyond.
- Premier League: All elite football in Britain cancelled until 4th April at the earliest subject to “conditions at the time”.
- La Liga: Spain’s top-flight suspended until 4th April at the earliest when it will “revaluate” the situation.
- Serie A: Italy has the highest number of cases in Europe, and the country is in lockdown.
- Bundesliga: Suspended until at least 2nd April in Germany.
- Ligue 1: Games initially played behind closed doors in France but now suspended “until further notice”.
Club World Cup 2021 Updates
FIFA have officially announced that they have decided to postpone the upcoming Club World Cup, due to the Coronavirus emergency.
The tournament was due to be played next summer, with an expanded format featuring 24 teams, but due to UEFA’s decision to postpone Euro 2020 to next summer, FIFA were forced to postpone the tournament. The Club World Cup will be rescheduled, either later on in 2021 or in the following two years.
Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, has revealed the following next steps that FIFA will undertake amid the coronavirus crisis:
- To accept the postponements of the CONMEBOL 2020 Copa América and the UEFA EURO 2020 to the June/July of 2021;
- To decide at a later stage – when there is more clarity on the situation – when to reschedule the new FIFA Club World Cup;
- To discuss with the Chinese FA and the Chinese Government the postponement of the new FIFA Club World Cup from 2021 in order to minimise any negative impact; and
- To discuss the impact of these changes on the football calendar with the different confederations, Member Associations and stakeholders; and work on the current International Match Calendar with the objective of finding appropriate solutions for everyone to be proposed as soon as the circumstances allow, hopefully before the end of April.
World soccer’s governing body have pledged $10 million to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund set up by the World Health Organization (WHO), and president Gianni Infantino is currently in discussions with leaders from all of FIFA’s confederations for required adjustments.