Uefa is considering postponing the European Championships until next summer as it attempts to deal with the escalating coronavirus pandemic.
European football’s governing body will meet stakeholders on Tuesday to discuss a series of proposals aimed at solving the growing disruption of the calendar due to covid-19, with the prospect of Euro 2020 being delayed for a year among the options being considered. It is understood that all options are on the table at this stage, including the possibility that the format of the 24-team tournament could be altered or scrapping some of the 12 venues across the continent. Rome is due to host the opening match between Italy and Turkey on 12 June, with Wembley hosting seven matches including the final on 12 July.
Both Bosnia & Herzegovinia and Slovakia have requested that this month’s play-off matches, against Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland respectively, be postponed. The two football associations face playing the games with decimated squads should they proceed as planned.
Also under discussion at the meeting of the 55 national associations will be how to resolve the fixture backlog in the Champions League and Europa League, with the second legs of Real Madrid’s tie against Manchester City and Juventus against Lyon next week in the latter having already been postponed indefinitely. That followed the postponement of Sevilla v Roma and Juventus v Gefate in Thursday night’s Europa League schedule, with Uefa set to consider whether it will be possible to continue with the competitions in their current format or reduce the ties to a single leg on a neutral ground.
La Liga’s decision to suspend action in the Spanish top flight for “at least the next two rounds of matches” came after one of the players in Real’s basketball team tested positive for the virus, leaving all activity at the club’s Valdebebas training ground suspended with immediate effect. It was followed by the Dutch Eredivisie, Portugal’s Primeira Liga and USA’s Major League Soccer, with the Danish FA having decided to stop all football activities in the country until 29 March.
“The men’s friendly matches against the Faroe Islands in Herning on March 27 and against England at Wembley on March 31 are expected to be canceled,” read a statement. “Clarified with UEFA.”
England are also due to face Italy in a friendly on 27 March at Wembley. Meanwhile, the Premier League has insisted that matches will go ahead this weekend in line with new directives from the government despite three Leicester City players having been isolated from the rest of the squad after displaying flu-like symptoms.