The outbreak of the deadly Coronavirus has created panic all across the world, canceling the major sporting events. However, UEFA Executive Committee member Alexey Sorokin has confirmed that there is “no panic” over Euro 2020 preparations. The condition in Europe is much more stable and there will be no changes in the tournament schedule. We are going ahead with the preparations as decided earlier.
Also, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin on Monday led an Executive Committee meeting in Amsterdam with the top officials to discuss various details, including the impact of the coronavirus on European Sport and also a potential trial for substitutions.
European Football’s governing body is firm and optimistic confirming no changes in the plans for March international friendlies and playoffs for the Euro 2020 tournament, where Northern Ireland, Scotland, and the Republic of Ireland are scheduled to compete in.
UEFA ExCo and CEO of the organizing structure for UEFA EURO 2020 Sorokin, in Petersburg, is confident about this summer’s tournament will take place as planned despite the rising concerns of coronavirus cases across Europe.
Sorokin stated “The focus of the meeting was obviously not coronavirus. Right now the situation with the Euro’s is stable”.
There are no changes to the tournament. So we continue our preparation the way it’s going. There are only a few months left and we’re doing our best to receive as many fans as possible”.
The Owner of the tournament is UEFA so I would leave it to UEFA to make all the necessary statements. It is our job to do our best to prepare our cities, and St Petersburg is one of them, to the best of their abilities and to give a warm welcome to all football lovers. I think we need to assess the situation as it develops.”
Sorokin is confident about the tournaments schedule and he clearly stated that “ No we don’t sense any panic. None whatsoever.”
As of now UEFA is maintaining a watch and wait for a statement from the World Health Organisation and governments from member nations and is expected to have clear guidance and directives from WHO. This year’s summer’s European Championship is scheduled across 12 countries including England which is going to host the semifinals and finals at Wembley, where there seems to be no impact on the ongoing preparations.
However, UEFA has informed all the non-essential operational staff to avoid traveling UEFA Congress and Nations League Draw scheduled on Tuesday in Amsterdam. UEFA told in a news statement that “UEFA takes the situation linked to the coronavirus very seriously, we are closely monitoring the situation and are in contact with the World Health Organization and National Authorities regarding Covid – 19 and its development.
“UEFA is also monitoring decisions by local authorities that may have an impact on matches in its competitions. And we are in contact with all clubs in relation to this”.
Also, Greg Clarke, Football Association Chairman, and FIFA Vice President said: “he still expects England’s internationals against Italy and Denmark to go ahead at Wembley”.
“We’re planning on the basis that they will go ahead”.
“If the government decides on a change of policy, of course, we will adhere to that policy”.
“Clarity soon is better, but the facts are changing so quickly, you can’t penalize the government for not quite knowing what the situation will be like in a month. I understand the problem”.
Also, Gianni Infantino, FIFA president said “he wouldn’t exclude anything” over the potential postponement of FIFA international but urged to remain calm and steady.
He also added “We don’t have to panic, I’m not personally worried, we have to look at it seriously. We don’t have to overreact”.