The UEFA European Championship, initially scheduled for the summer of 2020, has been postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
European football's governing body confirmed the news on Tuesday, per Henry Winter of The Times:
Sean Ingle of the Guardian relayed quotes from UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, who explained why the decision had been taken:
England reacted to the news:
Hope. Expectation. Excitement. We couldn’t wait for the nation to unite in support of the #ThreeLions this summer. But now is the time to come together in a different way. Stay safe, stay home and take care of one another. @wembleystadium will roar again soon. https://t.co/eZkQdXJc2E
The competition was initially scheduled to take place across numerous European nations between June 12 and July 12; the tournament will now go ahead on June 11, a year on.
The decision to postpone the event will provide European leagues with an opportunity to finish their respective competitions. The vast majority of league seasons across the continent have been put on hold due to the spread of COVID-19.
On Twitter, UEFA said that after a meeting on Tuesday, "a working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season."
In addition to the European Championship, it was also announced the Copa America, the South American continental competition, will be suspended for a year:
UEFA added that all international friendlies have been postponed, while the play-off matches for the upcoming European Championship will go ahead in June, subject to a review.
In the summer of 2021, the UEFA Women's European Championship is set to take place in England, with the tournament due to start on July 7, just four days before the new date of the men's final.