major competitions are postponed

It was the day of the big trip. On the sports calendar, too. Under the effect of the coronavirus epidemic, he lost two of his compasses on Tuesday, March 17: the Roland-Garros tournament, which usually disrupts the exam reviews, in early June, will delight the start of the school year, from 20 September to October 4, in the wake of the US Open; and the Football Euro will be organized for the first time in its history in an odd year in 2021.

The hope that the summer will be lighter, with a Tour de France and the Olympic Games in Tokyo, remains: Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), on Tuesday, was content to announce the postponement of the “monuments” of cycling that 'it organizes, Paris-Roubaix and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, hoping to find a place for them on the calendar when the pandemic is over. If the Tour of Italy is added to it, the fall of cycling will be a marathon.

Regarding the Tour de France, there is no need, believes its director Christian Prudhomme, to " make a radical decision ". The International Olympic Committee (IOC) used the same words in reaffirming that the Tokyo Olympics were still scheduled to take place from July 24 to August 9. For sports enthusiasts, this month of July is starting to look like a lifeline.

Read also Tokyo Olympics: IOC chooses to wait

It was also the day of videoconferences. That of Olympism and that of European football, with its 55 federations, its representatives from clubs, leagues and players. The big bang caused by the coronavirus epidemic prompted the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) to act relatively quickly, three months before its major event, the European Championship. The competition is postponed by 364 days, from June 11 to July 11, 2021.


Logistically, the announcement would be almost a relief for supporters, guaranteed to be reimbursed if they do not wish to attend the competition in a year. The format of the tournament, organized in 12 different cities, also alleviates the economic consequences which would have been immense for a single organizing country. It reduces the risk of one of the countries withdrawing from the organization due to the coming recession caused by the epidemic. If this is the case, however, UEFA guarantees that it will be possible to distribute the matches in the other stadiums.

The consequences for UEFA will be " hundreds of millions of euros ", says Aleksander Ceferin, president of the European confederation whose coffers are, however, well filled. By postponing the Euro, he gives himself a chance to bring to fruition the other goose that lays the golden eggs: the Champions League.


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