The decision puts a halt to the current Champions League and Europa League matches, with global sport being brought to a virtual standstill by the coronavirus pandemic.

Travellers pass by a logo of the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship displayed on a wall inside Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport, in Otopeni, Romania, March 16, 2020.
Travellers pass by a logo of the 2020 UEFA European Football Championship displayed on a wall inside Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport, in Otopeni, Romania, March 16, 2020. (Octav Ganea / Reuters)

UEFA has put all club and national team competitions for men and women "on hold until further notice", European football's governing body said in a statement on Tuesday after deciding to postpone Euro 2020 for a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision puts a halt to the current Champions League and Europa League matches, with global sport being brought to a virtual standstill by the coronavirus pandemic.

The playoffs for Euro 2020, which were scheduled for the end of March, will now be played at the start of June "subject to a review of the situation," said the body.

UEFA said it has set up a "working group" involving leagues and club representatives to examine the overall calendar situation facing the game with the bulk of the continent's domestic championships having stopped play.

The group will aim to find "solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today."

Among the major unresolved issues facing UEFA is how to finish the current European club competitions, including the Champions League which is currently in its last 16 phase.

The virus has infected almost 180,000 people and killed more than 7,000 worldwide, with the epicentre now in Europe as infection rates slow down in China where the outbreak began.

All five of Europe's top domestic leagues — England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany — are suspended, along with the Champions League, Europa League and World Cup qualifiers.

Leagues have urged UEFA to prioritise completing domestic competitions, reflecting a concern that clubs throughout Europe will lose significant ticket and associated match-day revenue by not completing the season while still having to pay their players' salaries.

Cancelled seasons would also risk significant compensation claims from rights-holding TV broadcasters.

The European championship is usually held in one or two host nations, but was spread around the continent this time in what organisers said was a romantic one-off event.

The host cities are Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg.

Copa America postponed from 2020 to 2021 

This summer's Copa America in Argentina and Colombia was on Tuesday postponed by a year to 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic, organisers CONMEBOL said.

The announcement came quick on the heels of UEFA's similar decision to also push back Euro 2020 by 12 months.

The Copa, South America's main men's continental competition, was scheduled to run between June 11-July 11, and for the first time in two countries, featuring 12 teams including invitees Australia and Qatar.

Source: Reuters