Euro 2020 has been postponed until the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak, Uefa has confirmed.
The governing body said it had pushed the tournament back by 12 months to protect the health of those involved and avoid additional pressure on public services in the nations hosting matches.
Meanwhile, there is also a commitment to complete club competitions throughout Europe by the end of June.
In a separate statement, Uefa said they domestic competitions and the Champions League and Europa League completed by 30 June “should the situation improve and resuming playing be appropriate and prudent enough.”
The decision to suspend Euro 2020 was announced earlier today following an emergency meeting held between Uefa’s 55 member associations earlier today via a video conference.
The competition will now take place between 11 June and 11 July 2021.
It had been due to get underway on 12 June across 12 host nations, including England and Scotland, but the suspension to domestic leagues, as well as Uefa’s own competitions, across the continent has created a need for the delay.
It frees up this summer for the possibility of domestic and club European competitions to be completed.
The play-offs for the European Championship will now be played in June, Uefa said, subject to a review of the situation.
All club competitions, including the Champions League and Europa League, have now been suspended until further notice, the statement added.
‘The biggest sacrifice’
“The health of fans, staff and players has to be our number one priority and in that spirit, UEFA tabled a range of options so that competitions can finish this season safely and I am proud of the response of my colleagues across European football,” Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin said.
“There was a real spirit of co-operation, with everyone recognising that they had to sacrifice something in order to achieve the best result.
“It was important that, as the governing body of European football, Uefa led the process and made the biggest sacrifice.
“Moving Euro 2020 comes at a huge cost for Uefa but we will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women’s football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected.
“Purpose over profit has been our guiding principle in taking this decision for the good of European football as a whole.
“Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadia, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.”
Ceferin added that the fine detail “would be worked out in the coming weeks” and that “clubs and leagues in Europe will have as little disruption as possible in the availability of their players” as they hope to complete club competitions during the summer months.
However, the decision to move Euro 2020 to next summer still leaves Uefa with plenty of other events to fit in or rearrange.
The Nations League finals were due to take place between 2 and 6 June, while the under-21 European Championship and women’s European Championship were scheduled for 9-26 June and 11 July to 1 August respectively.
Uefa said decisions on rescheduling these events will take place in due course.
The Football Association’s chief executive Mark Bullingham said the body “fully support Uefa’s decision to postpone Euro 2020.”
“We will be considering the implications for all England teams and our organisation over the coming days, including any implications on the date of the 2021 women’s Euro which we are very proud to be hosting,” he said.
“We will continue to work in collaboration with the Premier League, English Football League and our football partners on the scenarios that could follow Uefa’s decision today and ensure we are ready to put them into immediate action once it is appropriate to do so.
“Until then, we will continue to follow the advice of government and the health authorities.”