Euro 2020: Italy FA calls on UEFA to postpone tournament due to coronavirus pandemic

Ahead of Tuesday’s emergency meeting at UEFA to discuss how to go schedule domestic and international competitions amid the coronavirus outbreak, Italy’s football association is taking a strong stance. The association’s leader is suggesting that Euro 2020 be postponed. 

“We will propose to UEFA to postpone the European Championship to complete the [local] championships,” Italian FA president Gabriele Gravina said according to the FA’s website. “We want to complete the championships and it is clear that the discriminating factor is the presence of the European Championship, an event in which we too have invested much energy and made sacrifices. We will tackle this on Tuesday.”

Euro 2020 is set for this summer with 24 national teams battling it out across 12 different venues. The competition is scheduled to begin on June 12 and conclude July 12, though many are suggesting it be postponed until the summer of 2021. 

Italy has the most coronavirus cases in Europe and the most in the world outside of China. That has led to the Italian government to order people to stay at home for the foreseeable future. Three Italian Serie A clubs have confirmed cases of coronavirus, and Rome’s Stadio Olimpico is currently scheduled to host three group stage games and one quarterfinal at Euro 2020. 

The FA president has also proposed that all competitions be completed by June 30, which comes as the country aims to tackle the outbreak that has resulted in more than 800 deaths and 12,000 cases, reports CBS News.

“We hypothesized a deadline at June 30,” Gravina said. “But I would not exclude the possibility of having a slight extension with the adoption of urgent measures both from a sporting and governmental point of view. We have to work on this calendar hypothesis, without forgetting that in addition to Serie A we have other leagues that must have their own ending. And we must not overlook the idea of completing international competitions — Champions League and Europa League “.

UEFA is reportedly considering reducing the games remaining in the Champions League and Europa League. All of the major European leagues have suspended play, though Turkey is still currently playing behind closed doors. 

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