October 21 – UEFA has cancelled its U-19 European Championship because of the coronavirus pandemic and issues around international travel.
The health crisis has forced the European governing body to juggle with a congested calendar and implement strict health protocols for clubs, officials and support staff, but even so UEFA has taken the decision to cancel the international junior tournament which was due to be staged in Northern Ireland citing “the current unresolved epidemiological situation in Europe and resulting travelling difficulties.”
The tournament would have served as a pathway to the U-20 World Cup finals which will be staged by Indonesia next spring.
UEFA has now allocated the five European slots based on the current top five positions in the UEFA round coefficient ranking of last season, with England, France, Italy, Netherlands and Portugal set to represent the continent in May and June at the World Cup.
The Nyon-based confederation has also postponed the introduction of a new tournament format for the U-19 age band and will maintain the current structure for the final competition in the 2021/22 season.
In August, UEFA cancelled the U-17 Women’s European Championship for similar reasons, saying it was “to alleviate the additional operational and financial burden on national associations – caused by hygiene conditions impacting travel and accommodation, as well as testing to safeguard the health of athletes and minimize any potential risk of spreading the infection.”
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1606269072labto1606269072ofdlr1606269072owedi1606269072sni@o1606269072fni1606269072