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FA welcomes 12-month Euro 2020 delay despite potential clash with women’s tournament

Out of focus: England manager Gareth Southgate has seen his trophy quest delayed PICTURE: PA

UEFA’S decision to postpone Euro 2020 has been backed by Football Association chief executive Mark Bullingham.

The tournament has been put back by 12 months due to the coronavirus pandemic, with June 11 to July 11, 2021 the proposed new dates.

Uefa made the decision with member nations in a conference-call meeting yesterday, with the FA preparing to step up talks with the Premier League and English Football League regarding when the 2019-20 season can be completed.

The tournament had been due to be held across Europe, with England’s group-stage fixtures plus the semi-final and final all played at Wembley.

‘People’s health and well-being has to be the primary concern for all of us, so we fully support Uefa’s decision to postpone Euro 2020,’ Bullingham said. ‘We will consider the implications over the coming days, including any implications on the date of the 2021 women’s Euro, which we are very proud to be hosting.

‘We’ll continue to work in collaboration with the PL, EFL and our football partners on the scenarios that could follow Uefa’s decision today and ensure we’re ready to put them into immediate action once it is appropriate.’

Uefa did not confirm new dates for the Champions League and Europa League finals, although June 27 and June 24 have been reported. There was also no confirmation at this stage as to whether the Women’s Euro 2021 would be moved due to the rescheduled men’s event.

Instead the statement said decisions on dates for other Uefa competitions would be taken ‘in due course’.

The Football Association of Wales joined FA chief executive Bullingham in backing the decision to put the tournament back to the summer of 2021.

A statement read: ‘Priority is given to completing domestic competitions in an unprecedented move by Uefa and a working group has been set up to examine possibilities for this season’s Uefa (club) competitions.’

More England games KO’d

ENGLAND’S June friendlies against Austria and Romania have been called off. Gareth Southgate’s men were due to travel to Vienna for a friendly on June 2 before facing Romania at Villa Park on June 7.

NATIONAL League Barnet have put all non-playing staff on notice of redundancy — including manager Darren Currie — as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Having controversially allowed matches to be played over the weekend, the league announced on Monday all three divisions would be suspended until at least early April. The Bees — 11th in the table — have moved to cut costs with approximately 60 staff being made redundant. Chairman Tony Kleanthous said he was taking ‘difficult decisions’ he believes are important in order to ensure the club ‘continues to survive’ and is ‘financially stable’.

They said it

‘WE would all like, including all the international federations, the domestic season to be finished — that is one of the main reasons for delaying the Euros to allow, if the virus gets under control, a window to potentially finish the season’ — Mark Bullingham hopes the postponed domestic season will now be able to finish at some stage