LAUSANNE, November 18, 2020 (MOREL) - UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has reiterated his belief that the postponed Euro 2020 tournament will be held next year, in spite of the second wave of COVID-19 infections currently sweeping across Europe. Originally scheduled for last summer, the 24-team competition was put off due to the coronavirus pandemic, but a terrifying new surge casts doubt on whether it would go ahead in June and July 2021.
THE PLAN However, Ceferin told Marca Sport Weekend that the plan is to stage the tournament in its current format which features 12 host cities across Europe. He is also hopeful of staging the championship with fans in the stadium.
“The plan is, of course, to play it. To play it in the same system. I’m sure this time we will not postpone it. But of course, we are monitoring the situation to see if we may have to adopt anything else. The Euros will be played and – you can say that I’m too optimistic - I believe that this pandemic crisis will end before spring,” Ceferin said.
ALL VENUES, WITH FANS Last month in an interview with Spanish pay TV network Movistar+, Ceferin hinted at the possibility of reducing the number of host cities if necessary, even though UEFA continues to insist that it is too early to decide the fate of next summer’s tournament.
A UEFA spokesman told Sky Sports News that “UEFA's efforts are currently focused on planning for a tournament in all 12 venues with fans”. He explained that the governing body is working closely with all host cities on preparations.
SOLIDARITY AND UNITY Reflecting on UEFA’s response to the global pandemic, Ceferin praised the stakeholders of European football for showing “a great level of solidarity and unity” when the governing body had to make “many very important decisions”, of which delaying the Euros was one.
“If we had insisted on continuing with the Euros, I am sure we would have had problems and it (the tournament) would not have happened. At the same time the leagues could not have finished their competitions. Of course, every decision carries a risk when you don't know what will happen in the future, but I think that anyone in charge should make decisions with courage. We decided based on what we thought was the best solution.”
EUROPEAN SUPER LEAGUE In response to a question about the persistent idea of a European Super League, Ceferin said: “For me the Super League is out of the question. It is the dream of two or three directors who don't care about solidarity. They don't care about anything except themselves, they would even harm their own clubs, but they probably don't realise it yet.
“The idea isn't a very serious one. It has emerged because of the stepping down of the president of Barcelona, but I believe it was more of a populist or political idea than a serious one. (ends)