With the world in an unprecedented state due to the coronavirus, the planned European Championships, in 2020, have been postponed until the following summer. However, with plans to have Euro 2021 played across Europe will the current crisis affect these plans and force UEFA into a different idea?
The 2020 tournament was due to start on June 11 in Rome. Italy has been one of the biggest victims to the coronavirus and the country has been struggling to gain regularity for many weeks. Alongside Italy, other countries who are meant to host the tournament include England, Scotland, Ireland and eight other countries across the continent.
The father of this brainchild former disgraced UEFA president Michel Platini came up with the idea in 2012 and the idea just ran after the success of the Under 17s tournament. The idea was to have a “carnival atmosphere” around Europe and it would be the biggest party to celebrate an important year.
However, with coronavirus dominating the continent could officials at UEFA consider restricting the Euro 2021 to just one country? They could possibly investigate the idea given the amount of travel there would be for fans and players over the tournament; even during the group stage they will travel between two countries.
With countries such as Italy, England, Germany, Spain and France all capable to host the tournament due to the fact that they have more than sufficient stadiums to facilitate the high amount of attendances then UEFA might feel that the tournament is easier to police and regulate if it was restricted to one country.
However, in the past several countries have co hosted the tournament such as Holland & Belgium in 2000, Austria & Switzerland 2008 and Russia & Ukraine 2012. This could be something that the tournament hosts might be open to with England able to use stadiums in Scotland and Wales or Spain and Portugal are able to co host as well.
This option would be able to create the carnival atmosphere the orgainsers want whilst protecting the fans in the process. It would be easier to regulate than relying on so many different organisations getting involved.
However, if the coronavirus is under control and life is back to normality then you can fully expect the tournament to go ahead as normal and as planned by UEFA because they want to be able to showcase what they believe is the biggest international tournament behind the World Cup.