The governing body of European football, UEFA are scheduled to have its talk in Amsterdam on Monday to discuss the impact of the coronavirus towards EURO 2020 and its playoff games to be held this coming March.
The coronavirus outbreak has already affected countries worldwide, and with its numerous causes of deaths and continuous spread worldwide, other major sporting events were canceled giving the UEFA a major problem with its upcoming events.
Several fixtures in Italy, wherein having the most number of cases across Europe, had to postpone several games such as in Serie A between Juventus and Inter Milan.
“Sure there will be discussions, you’d expect that,” Mark Bullingham, chief executive of England’s Football Association, said when questioned regarding the UEFA meetings, that include a full congress of all 55 European associations on Tuesday.
“But fundamentally we have to go on the advice that the government give us and we have to rely on that.”
The play-offs on March 26 and March 31 features 16 teams that would battle it out for the last four spots joining the 24-team finals and take part first at the EURO 2020 group stage. Northern Ireland is one of those teams and will travel to Bosnia Herzegovina for their elimination game.
“We’re keeping in close contact with UEFA. I know UEFA and ourselves are in direct contact with the World Health Organisation and we will take whatever advice we receive.” Irish FA chief Patrick Nelson said.
UEFA had claimed that there is no reason to make changes for the month-long tournament that will have its kickoff in Rome on June 12 but says that they remain to be alert in watching developments with the virus.
“UEFA is in touch with the relevant international and local authorities regarding the coronavirus and its development.”
“For the moment, there is no need to change anything in the planned timetable. The issue will be kept under constant scrutiny,” the UEFA organization said.
Similar to the playoff games being concerned, the international break features friendly matches all across the world. Two rounds from the World Cup qualifiers are also scheduled for the same period in Asia and South America.
Asked if he would consider canceling some of those games, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Friday that nothing was out of the question.
“I wouldn’t exclude anything at this moment. I hope we will never have to get into this direction. I think it will be difficult in any case to make a global ban because the situation (in each country) is really different.” he said towards the reporters.
“The health of people is much more important than any football game. The health is beyond anything and that’s why we have to look at the situation and hope that it (the coronavirus) will decrease rather than increase.”