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'Wait... what?': Fans baffled as UEFA says NEXT YEAR's European Championships will keep Euro 2020 title

'Wait... what?': Fans baffled as UEFA says NEXT YEAR's European Championships will keep Euro 2020 title
UEFA chiefs have caused confusion after initially announcing that Euro 2020 would retain its title despite being postponed until next year due to the coronavirus crisis.

Euro 2020 was due to take place in several cities across Europe this summer but the decision was made to postpone the competition by 12 months due to the developing coronavirus crisis, which has largely cancelled or postponed the sporting landscape across the globe. 

UEFA Euro 2020 POSTPONED to 2021 due to coronavirus pandemic

It was initially announced by UEFA on Tuesday that the tournament would be delayed until 2021, but another statement issued Friday by European football's governing body outlined that they intended to retain the title of Euro 2020.

RT

That prompted an outcry of confusion from football fans across the continent.

But even more bafflingly, UEFA reversed course just hours later, issuing a new tweet claiming that the previous message had been issued in error, and that no decision had in fact been made on what the tournament would be titled.

The European Championships are just one of numerous upcoming tournaments or sporting seasons to have been curtailed by the outbreak of COVID-19 which, as of Friday afternoon, has nearly 260,000 confirmed cases and 10,544 deaths. 

Most major European leagues have closed their doors indefinitely and with the European Championships now no longer taking place in the summer, it leaves a window available for domestic leagues to potentially fulfil their seasonal fixtures - so long as the virus has been brought under control.

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Despite the confusion over the name, the delay in holding the tournament could actually be to the benefit of some teams. England had been anxiously awaiting news on the fitness of captain Harry Kane and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford ahead of the tournament, while the likes of Belgium's Eden Hazard should also be available, barring any additional injuries suffered in the next 12 months. 

On the flip-side of that coin, some of European football's more experienced veterans will be one year older going into the tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be 36-years-old by the time the tournament kicks off, while Chelsea's Olivier Giroud will wonder if he can retain his status as France's first choice striker at the age of 34.

The same goes for the likes of Croatian playmaker Luka Modric and maybe even German stopper Manuel Neuer - but the additional 12 month delay will also allow time for future football wunderkind's to make an impact next season in time for the much-needed festival of football.

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