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International matches in June are OFF as UEFA postpones playoffs and qualifiers in further blow to Euro 2020 and Women's Euro 2021

International matches in June are OFF as UEFA postpones playoffs and qualifiers in further blow to Euro 2020 and Women's Euro 2021
The crucial playoff matches to decide who goes to Euro 2020 are among a new round of postponements announced by UEFA as the coronavirus pandemic continues to heavily impact European countries, forcing the rescheduling of fixtures.

UEFA has announced that European nations will not take part in any matches in June, causing the cancellation of two tournaments and the postponement of the playoffs for Euro 2020.

Sixteen teams from across the continent had been hoping to reach the flagship European tournament, which was put back by a year on March 17 as the coronavirus pandemic escalated, in a series of playoff games following their original qualifying campaigns for the finals.

No new date has been proposed for the playoffs, which have suffered the same fate as the qualifying matches for Women's Euro 2021.

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A lineup of friendlies planned for the month, including Russia's trip to Poland, England's visit to Austria and a clash between Spain and Portugal, have also fallen foul of the lockdown on sport as the health crisis continues in every country scheduled to play.

UEFA spoke to all of its 55 member associations and acted on the initial agreements made in the meeting that led to the painful decision to forego Euro 2020 this year.

The Euro Under-17 Championship final tournament, scheduled for May, and the Euro Women’s Under-19 Championship, marked for July, have been cancelled entirely.

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Speaking about Euro 2020 switching dates, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin admitted the move would come at a "huge cost" to the governing body, adding: "We will do our best to ensure that the vital funding for grassroots, women's football and the development of the game in our 55 countries is not affected.

"The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadia, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition."

Speculation continues to surround the remainder of this season's Champions League and Europa League, with reports suggesting that the two major club tournaments in European football could take place in condensed forms and behind closed doors.

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