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Thursday, 22 April 2021

England coach Southgate fears changes to Euro 2020 format due to COVID-19

Reuters , Saturday 10 Oct 2020
Southgate
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - International Friendly - England v Wales - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - October 8, 2020 England manager Gareth Southgate (REUTERS)
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England manager Gareth Southgate said the format of next year’s European Championship might have to be modified for it to take place successfully amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Euro 2020, initially scheduled from June 12 to July 12 this year in 12 cities across the continent, was pushed back to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic that shut down soccer in March.

As infections rise, questions linger over the feasibility of staging the showpiece event across several locations.

“You couldn’t stand with any certainty and say the Euros will take place next year,” Southgate told British media. “You couldn’t stand with certainty and say it is going to take place in the format it is expected to.

“You hope, the indications are that towards spring things might look a bit brighter, and I think generally those predictions have been fairly accurate.”

London’s Wembley stadium is set to host six matches, including the semi-finals and finals, and Southgate said England would have no problem stepping in if it was decided to cut the number of host nations.

“We would definitely be capable of hosting, we are due to host a lot of games at Wembley anyway, so I don’t think that will change, but it really is an unknown what the format might end up looking like,” he added.

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