European football governing body Uefa has postponed its flagship international event, the European Championship, for one year due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
The competition was scheduled to take place in June and July across Europe, but has become the latest in a long list of sporting events cancelled due to the pandemic.
“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,” Uefa said in a press release. “The move will help all domestic competitions, currently on hold due to the Covid-19 emergency, to be completed.”
As one of the largest events on the sporting calendar, the suspension of the Euro 2020 is set to have a major impact on the earnings of sports betting operators. However, this postponement was already accounted for in earnings updates from both Flutter Entertainment and GVC Holdings yesterday (16 March). Both operators said the suspension of sports and reduction of retail traffic due to the virus would lead to EBITDA declines of more than £100m (€109.8m/$120.5m).
Uefa said the delay would allow club competitions, which are currently suspended, to continue in the summer, as well as preventing “any unnecessary pressure on national public services involved in staging matches”. Playoff matches to determine the last four entrants to the tournament have also been delayed from late March to early June.