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Football: Euros and Copa America moved to 2021 due to coronavirus chaos

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Harry Kane takes a penalty during a EURO 2020 qualifier between England and Bulgaria
Harry Kane takes a penalty during a EURO 2020 qualifier between England and Bulgaria   -   Copyright  AP
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Euro 2020 and the Copa America have both been moved to the summer of 2021 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

UEFA said priority was being given to the completion of domestic competitions, as it announced the Euros, originally planned for June and July this year, would be postponed until the summer of 2021.

It held a teleconference with representatives from its 55 member associations to discuss developments earlier on Tuesday in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

UEFA had already suspended the Champions League and the Europa League competitions, while national football bodies around the world have suspended their national leagues.

Copa America announced it would also be moving fixtures from this summer to 2021, to be played between Jun 11 to July 11.

The international football competitions join an ever-growing list of showpiece international sporting events to be postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

It remains unclear how Europe’s elite football leagues are going to be resolved, but UEFA said its decision has been made in an "unprecedented solidarity move" to help get national leagues completed.

UEFA said in a statement: "The health of all those involved in the game is the priority, as well as to avoid placing any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches. The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the COVID-19 emergency, to be completed."

It added it would continue to examine possibilities for this season’s Champions League and Europa League competitions.

EURO 2020 Play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation, UEFA added.

Sporting authorities have expressed their wish to finish remaining fixtures, but some have suggested controversial alternatives if the games cannot be played.

Other major sporting events affected include:

  • Athletics World indoor championships in in Nanjing, China, postponed from March 13-15 to March 19-21, 2021
  • World half marathon championships in Gdynia, Poland on March 29 postponed to October 17
  • Marathons and half marathons around the world cancelled or postponed
  • Formula One: Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on March 15 cancelled, Bahrain Grand Prix in Sakhir on March 22, no spectators, Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19 postponed
  • NBA from March 11 suspended
  • Rugby Six Nations matches postponed
  • Alpine World Cup Finals in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy from March 18-22 canceled