Finland to relive Euro 2020 success by restarting soccer

In 2019, the Finland national team did a stellar performance and successfully qualify in the Euro 2020, for the first time in their history. In the wake of this success, Finnish football has announced that Football will return to Finland on 1st July, thus starting the 2020 season. It is learnt that Finnish football is played in a calendar year, due to the country’s harsh climate in the hard winter months.

Known as world champions in Ice Hockey, Finland was aiming to follow Iceland’s inspiring run to the Euro 2016 quarterfinals, the first Nordic nation to reach the quarterfinals of the Euros. InNovember last year as Finland won over Liechtenstein and booked their spot the postponed Euro 2020, after securing second spot in qualifying Group J, behind winners Italy. 

Jasse Tuominen’s first-half strike and a Norwich City’s TeemuPukki double ended a run of 32 failed qualifying campaigns for either the World Cup or European Championship. However, Euro 2020 was called off and will resume after a year due to the threat of global pandemic. It means Finland’s quest to glory was also halted. But, football in the country will commence to relive this success. 

“It was really, really positive. The country has never been so enthusiastic,” Finnish league CEO Timo Marjamaa told the press. Finland is looking to restart the national cup competition stopped in March, which is very likely to be played, at least in part, behind closed doors. July 1 is the target, pending government approval, to start the 12-team Veikkausliiga season, due in March.

Finland’s top flight got a green light from the government to start the season, with what the government described as “special arrangements” and behind closed doors. Finland’s restrictions currently ban gatherings of 50 or more people, up from 10. “If you think that in June we can gather in groups of up to 50, thenthe start of the month at least is not available to play league games,” said Marjamaa said. 

“Events must make sure that there are not tight crowds of people, for instance queuing up for tickets or at sales points,” sports minister Hanna Kosonensaid. “Sporting events must look after the wellbeing and safety of players, for instance by ensuring enough space in changing rooms,” she added. The soccer league plans a late finish for such a cold northern climate, on Nov. 21.

The most glorious 24-team European Championship, which was being held across Europe to mark UEFA’s 60th anniversary, will now take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021. The governing body also announced that all club men’s and women’s international club competitions, including the Champions League and the Europa League will be postponed until further notice. 

Earlier, all five of Europe’s top domestic soccer leagues – Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain0, Serie A (Italy), Ligue 1 (France) and Bundesliga (Germany) – are halted. Ligue1 already cancelled the season, while Bundesliga was the first European league that restarted the season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.