In a statement published by a Spanish newspaper, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) president AleksanderCeferin expressed his optimism in hosting the Euro 2020 the postponed 2020 European Championships to take place as scheduled next year. In March, UEFA announced that their largest European Championship men’s soccer tournament was postponed due to coronavirus pandemic
“Yes I would bet on it. I don’t see why it shouldn’t happen. I don’t think the virus will last forever,” Ceferin said when askedif the games will go ahead next year. “The situation is serious but it is improving and we are more careful now. We know more about the virus and for now I’m optimistic.” At the time of writing, there are over 5 million people worldwide have contracted the virus that killed nearly 340,000.
The rescheduled 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. Previously, 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.
“I don’t like apocalyptic visions that say we should expect a second wave, a third or a fifth. People we know will die one day, but do we need to be worried now? Should we be fearful now? I don’t think so,”Ceferin said commenting on some health experts saying that it will not be safe for fans to attend matches until there is a vaccine for the virus.
“We are ready (to host the Euros) and we’re going to follow the recommendations of the health authorities. I’m absolutely sure that the good and old football with supporters will be back soon,” Ceferin added. Earlier, UEFA has announced that “all national team matches for men and women due to be played in June 2020 are postponed until further notice”.
In a separate interview, Ceferin is positive that “good old football with fans will come back very soon” despite the fear of spreading the virus leading countries worldwide to halt large-scale events, including sporting competitions. The Bundesligamade a successful return to action behind closed doors last weekend, while clubs from other major leagues already started their individual trainings.
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. They also confirmed that next summer’s European Championship will still be called ‘Euro 2020’ despite the 2021 moved.
Ceferin says the situation at UEFA is “not that alarming” but says “there’s a lot of work still to be done” as it looks out for leagues and stakeholders. He also ruled out allegations that football will change forever as it “didn’t change after the Second World War, or First World War, and it will not change because of a virus either”.