The complicated situation of the pandemic is still possessing a threat to Euro 2020. Will it be the year the tournament gets cancelled – or postponed, again?
With COVID-19 raging across Europe like wildfire, there is no news of the tournament being renamed or postponed as of now. The contest’s fate remains in the organizers’ hands, but what will be the final outcome?
Of note, the Euro 2020 tournaments are one of the most awaited sports tournament this year. However, its future still lingers in doubt, even if it will continue. Today, less than five months remain to kick-off for the tournament’s first match, dated June 11, 2021.
The Future of Euro 2020 – Cancellation or Postponement?
The burning question is – will the tournament go ahead after failing to grasp the officials’ definite answer?
First of all, the domestic leagues’ future is uncertain, such as Aston Villa had to postpone the games due to the COVID-19 outbreak in their training ground. It delayed their games, hence disturbing the fixture schedule.
The infection rate across Europe is surging after the continent fighting pandemic after a year of lockdown. At the current COVID-19 spread, it is hard to imagine the future of the European Championship. In our opinion, the European Championship will be played in the current iteration as it is planned.
The organizing committee faces a more significant issue at hand – planning the tournament’s 60th edition at multiple venues instead of a single one.
The threat of COVID-19 has halted travel routes between countries. For instance, the Spanish government recently reinstated that 70% of the English population should be vaccinated before entering their country’s premises.
Certainly, the stadiums will not be filled with spectators, according to speculations for extra precautionary measures. The infection rate is still at an all-time high in some European countries, and it will not decrease anytime soon.
Is The Vaccine = Solution?
Some of the countries rolled out COVID-19 vaccines, which hints that not all the games will be played without spectators. Another thing of substantial leverage is that the fans who will attend the matches will be adequately vaccinated.
The Prioritized Target Audience for COVID-19 Vaccine
The Europeans and the whole world keep senior citizens and healthcare workers a priority for the COVID-19 vaccine. The rest of the population is expected not to receive any immunization for months.
Julian Knight, one of the UK’s Digital and Sports committee chair members, said that there are doubts whether or not the Euro will be played across 12 countries as anticipated.
UEFA is most likely to restructure the entire tournament and its plans for the finals this summer. They have hit the tip of the iceberg by facing disastrous financial issues, which might cause them to delay again. According to ESPN, though, the odds are substantial that matches are played in one nation behind closed walls.
Here and there will be rumours to integrate different formats of reporting. However, in various nations, there are slender odds of the final being held. In our humble opinion, the pattern will remain the same like Champions League and Europa league post-pandemic last year.
Two months ago, in December, UEFA stated that the multi-city format will be implemented, and they will have to align their tournament needs with public health standards.
Furthermore, UEFA gave more details about the host nations and how they will prepare by the start of March. The matches of Euro 2020 are set to take place in Bucharest, Budapest, Baku, Bilbao, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Amsterdam, Munich, Copenhagen, Rome St. Petersburg.
Cancellation NOT an Option
Going forward, the worst-case scenario presented by UEFA states that the cancellation of Euro 2020 would cause tons of financial damage, which will lead them to host the tournament in just one country.
The governing body of Europe is looking at alternate options to make sure that the tournament goes forward as planned. England, Scotland, Germany, Russia, and France emerge as possible options to host the game. So far, there is no intention of cancelling it.
Euro 2020 was initially postponed more than a year ago in March due to the COVID-19 outbreak worldwide. One year’s delay was implemented, and the tentative date for the tournament to take place is in June.
The pandemic is still giving jump scares with time across the whole continent. Most of the countries are heavily affected by it. According to ESPN, several options can be implemented. These include a pan-European event to occur in its original format.
France is leading the role as hosts in Euro because Germany is set to host the 2024 edition. The other options are Scotland and England for this year’s tournament. They have the required infrastructure to host the games.
However, both of these countries are stuck in high COVID-19 cases, while Brexit makes the situation worst for the latter.
Last but not least, the final option is Russia, which hosted the previous World Cup. In conclusion, UEFA thinks that hosting the tournament in a single country is the ‘worst-case scenario’ in their opinion.
Either way, a decision will be made on April 20, when the president will address the committee and other organizing members.
With the domestic leagues on the horizon, it is hard to predict the outcome of European champions. However, one thing remains for sure, that the tournament will proceed under any circumstance because the UEFA organizing committee does not want to bear any loss on their end. With much to discuss, let’s wait and see how it pans out in the future. We have our fingers crossed.