France backs 'wise' UEFA decision to postpone Euro 2020

UEFA has postponed Euro 2020 for 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, a decision praised by the French Football Federation.

France finished runners-up at the home European Championship in 2016.   -  Getty Images

French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has lauded UEFA's "wise and pragmatic" decision to postpone Euro 2020 by 12 months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a video conference including all 55 member associations on Tuesday, UEFA confirmed its decision to suspend the upcoming Euros and set a new start date of June 11, 2021.

The postponement allows extra time for Europe's domestic seasons to conclude – if possible – after almost all leagues were put on hiatus to combat the spread of COVID-19.

In an FFF statement, Le Graet said: "The French Football Federation fully supports UEFA's decision to postpone Euro 2020 to 11 June 2021 and to adapt the formats for European competitions accordingly.

"The international matches planned for March, including the two matches of the French team from March 27 and 31 at the Stade de France, would therefore logically be postponed to June.

"This wise and pragmatic decision by UEFA makes it possible to fully register in the urgency and the priority of collective action to fight against the coronavirus, while allowing to consider ending the national professional and amateur championships which could be prolonged until June.

READ: Euro 2020 postponed to 2021

"All options will be studied in order to be reactive when resumption of activities is possible. The only concern of the FFF is to make the best decisions, by bringing together all the players in football, to best respect sports equity and limit the impact of this crisis.

"The world of football must be united, responsible and exemplary."

French football is suspended until further notice, with the Coupe de la Ligue – which was initially scheduled for April 4 – among the matches postponed.

COVID-19 was declared pandemic last week and has infected almost 189,000 people since its emergence in China late last year.

France has 6,633 confirmed cases of the virus.

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