UEFA emergency meeting: What to expect with Euro 2020, Champions League decisions looming

Tuesday is a big day for UEFA as the organization discusses the immediate future of the sport in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly every European league has been postponed as numerous clubs have confirmed positive cases. Representatives of the sport are scheduled to meet in an emergency meeting with the federation to address certain competitions such as Euro 2020, the Champions League and more.

As the coronavirus pandemic worsens in Europe and abroad, with Italy and Spain essentially shutting down, some big decisions will need to be made in the coming weeks or months. Here’s what to know about Tuesday’s meeting:

What type of meeting will it be and who will be involved?

UEFA invited all 55 member associations, along with the boards of the European Club Association and domestic leagues and a FIFPro member to attend a videoconference meeting to discuss the sport’s response to the outbreak. 

What topics will be discussed?

The European FA will discuss the following topics:

  • What to do about Euro 2020
  • Domestic league and cup competitions
  • Champions League and Europa League options

Here’s what to know about some of the competitions:

Euro 2020

This is a big one that will likely have a domino effect. What happens with Euro 2020 will likely determine what happens to other competitions. The cup is set to begin on June 12 all over Europe, but teams would theoretically be together about a week or so before that in preparation. That would mean domestic competitions would likely need to be completed by the end of May, which could be impossible depending on how long the hiatus lasts. 

One possible option would be to delay Euro 2020 to later in the summer. The most likely option, however, is postponing it until the summer of 2021. By postponing it a year, that could give the domestic leagues more time to conclude their competitions this June or July.

Of course, this all greatly depends on the track of the pandemic and if things are contained. If things get much worse, who knows what options may be available other than simply canceling the rest of the season and summer competitions. 

It’s unclear if a definitive answer on Euro 2020 will come from Tuesday’s meeting or if options will just be openly discussed. 

UEFA just held its 2020 congress in Amsterdam on March 5, meaning the next meeting, if there is one in relation to this, would likely be similar to Tuesday’s in an emergency setting.

Champions League and Europa League

UEFA will explore various options as to how to complete these two competitions. UEFA is looking into reducing the number of remaining matches to try and get the competitions wrapped up and limit travel, according to the BBC. 

That would mean cutting the quarterfinal and semifinal stages in half by making them one-leg affairs instead of two. There is also the possibility of playing the matches at one venue to limit travel and potentially allow for a safer, cleaner situation. 

If Euro 2020 is postponed, perhaps there is a way to get all of the matches in by extending the competition into the summer, though that would require rescheduling the final. 

Domestic competitions

It’s quite unclear how exactly it would all work for domestic competitions that have so many games remaining. Most domestic leagues have well over 100 matches remaining until around the middle of May. The most logical option seems to be stretching the competition out until the summer and having international competitions like Euro 2020 postponed. Copa America and the Summer Olympics are also currently still planned for the summer, however.

The president of the Italy FA has called on Euro 2020 to be postponed and for the priority to be domestic competitions. 

CBS Sports will update this story with more information and developments are announced from the meeting.

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