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Euro 2020 becomes Euro 2021 as UEFA confirms sweeping Champions League & league changes

12:50 GMT 17/03/2020
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The coronavirus pandemic has brought a halt to world football and the planned summer tournament is set to be moved to make room for seasons to finish

Euro 2020 has been pushed back by 12 months to become Euro 2021 as part of UEFA’s proposals to combat the scheduling issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Domestic and European fixture lists will also see sweeping changes made in an effort to get 2019-20 campaigns completed.

Football competitions around the world have been brought to a halt by the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.

Authorities have, in collaboration with health officials, been left with no choice but to implement immediate suspensions across the board following discussions with European football leaders.

The Norwegian FA was the first to confirm plans that UEFA's signature international tournament will become Euro 2021 and kick off on June 11, 2021.

Efforts are now being made to ensure that the current season does not become null and void.

UEFA said in a statement on Tuesday: "The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches.

"The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the Covid-19 emergency, to be completed.

"All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice.

"A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today."

A European Championship due to be staged in various cities across the continent was set to get underway on June 12, 2020.

That is no longer feasible, meaning that the event will be postponed until 2021.

At domestic level, the intention is to play the regular season through to a finish, with campaigns closing before June 30.

The Champions League final is expected to be pushed back to the end of June 2020, with Europe’s premier club competition yet to complete the round of 16.

European Championship play-offs that were cancelled in the March international break will now take place at the start of June "subject to a review of the situation", according to UEFA.

The 2021 Nations League Finals, which was supposed to be staged in June 2021, is being pencilled in for the following September.

There are a number of other matters still to be addressed, with European nations intended to be taking in 2022 World Cup qualifiers next summer.

FIFA’s inaugural 24-team Club World Cup is also supposed to see the curtain come up in 2021. UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has indicated that his FIFA counterpart, Gianni Infantino, is keen to cooperate with the European football governing body. Copa America 2020 will also be moved to 2021.

UEFA is, however, doing all it can to resolve as many problems as possible during a testing time for sport as a whole.

Once any initial proposals have been given the green light, then attention can turn towards addressing the outstanding issues.