Euro 2020 play-offs postponed as UEFA called-off June internationals

Following a video conference meeting with all its 55 members, the European football’s governing body UEFA announced that the Euro 2020 play-off matches, due to be played in June, have been postponed until further notice. The play-off matches are slated to feature Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Scotland.

The games were originally scheduled for March 26 and 31 with the rescheduled play-offs then provisionally moved for June 4-9. Northern Ireland are due to face Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Republic are up against Slovakia while Scotland will take on Israel. At the time of writing, there are almost a million cases have been reported with nearly 50,000 fatalities.

The announcements also include “all national team matches for men and women due to be played in June 2020 are postponed until further notice”. It means, Champions League, Europa League and qualifying matches for UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 are called-off indefinitely. Deadlines related to the 2020-21 UEFA club competitions are also postponed.

“All other UEFA competition matches, including the centralised international friendly matches, remain postponed until further notice,” the statement added. The UEFA executive committee has also decided to suspend certain aspects of club licensing provisions due to the “increasing uncertainty generated by the on-going extraordinary events”.

The UEFA statement read: “The executive committee reiterated its full commitment to club licensing and financial fair play and agreed that the current exceptional circumstances necessitate some specific interventions to facilitate the work of member associations and clubs.” These include the requirement to provide the preparation and assessment of clubs’ future financial information.

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.

Meanwhile, domestic league season remains in jeopardy with the Football Association (FA) recently confirmed that all professional football in England, including the Premier League, will be halted indefinitely, while Italy’s sports minister topropose the extension of ban on all sports events and competitions in the country “to the whole of April”.

This week, Wimbledon 2020 added to big sporting events this year that has been halted by the global health crisis, with the Tokyo 2020 Olympics recently called-off and will resume in 2021 from July 23 to August 8. Previously, Europe’s top domestic soccer leagues were halted indefinitely as Europe was declared to be the new epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the World Health Organization.