Following the postponement of the European Championship, the European football’s governing body UEFA later announced that the Euro 2020 play-off matches, due to be played in June, have been postponed until further notice. Earlier this week, UEFA vice president Sándor Csányi says the postponed playoffs could be played in October or November.
The 16-nation playoffs, originally scheduled for March 26 and 31 with the rescheduled play-offs then provisionally moved for June 4-9, are slated to feature Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland. Northern Ireland are due to face Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic are up against Slovakia while Scotland will take on Israel.
Csányi told Hungarian press that “October and November are options” while there is uncertainty about when soccer can resume in Europe. All 55 UEFA member countries are currently scheduled to play Nations League games in October and November. As of today, there are over 2 million people infected by the virus that killed more than 170,000 worldwide.
The reports was backed by Football Association of Ireland interim chief executive Gary Owens, took part in teleconference with UEFA earlier this week. “We thought it may well be November but it now looks like the semi-final is the preferred option in October,” Owens said when speaking about the play-offs in an interview.
“They don’t want to have the semi-final and the final of the play-offs in the one month. It looks like the Nations League matches will be in September and October with the semi-final play-off in October and the final play-off in November,” he added. The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will be involved in an all-Irish battle for a place at the Euros if they win their play-off semi-finals
Last month, a tough decision was made by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), as their largest European Championship men’s soccer tournament was called-off and will resume after a year due to the threat of global pandemic, COVID, which is currently crippling European countries. The most glorious 24-team European Championship
The 32-team European Championship, in celebration of the governing body’s 60th anniversary, was due to be taking place between June 12 and July 12 in countries all across the continent. Matches were due to be played in London, Baku, Munich, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin and Glasgow.
UEFA has confirmed its intention to use the same 12 host cities for the event next year but has yet to confirm a schedule for matches. “The UEFA EURO 2020 is foreseen to take place between 11 June and 11 July 2021 with the intention of having the same match schedule and the same host cities,” UEFA spokesperson told a news outlet.
The governing body has given priority for associations to complete domestic competitions, while a special working group has been established to examine a proposed outcome for this season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions. Previously, UEFA has announced that “all national team matches for men and women due to be played in June 2020 are postponed until further notice”.