UEFA’s silence is frustrating but really, we’re all just on edge


The 2020 Men’s European Championships have been postponed. The 2020 Olympic Games (including the women’s senior football tournament) have been postponed. Summer 2021 is getting busy and as such the 2021 Women’s European Championships have been postponed kind of, maybe… they’re not going ahead when they were scheduled for that’s for sure. But when they’ll actually happen? Over to you, UEFA…

There’s an acceptance that we’re living in uncertain if not, utterly terrifying times and whilst definitive answers are certainly a pacifier, they’re hard to come by. Given the very nature of the pandemic we’re in, there are no clear answers, no clear timelines just mentions of, “the soonest” time things might return – which will, let’s be honest, be invariably pushed back. With the psychopathic suggestions of a quarantined tournament to finish off the Premier League season, it’s clear we’re all just stumbling around in the dark, trying not to trip over a chair as we hunt for the light switch. And some of us can’t see the wood for the stacks of readies.

The Olympic problem

Before the IOC came to its senses and accepted that the Olympics couldn’t go ahead this summer, there was a push and pull in European women’s football over whether or not you could have two Euros in one summer. There would be an overlap, but that itself could be easily fixed by moving the women’s tournament back a week or two to give breathing space for all involved. It would put extra strain on the venues – well, only Wembley which is only hosting the final of the women’s tournament so maybe not. It would however put extra strain on some at UEFA and the mainstream media outlets who are hell bent on sending men’s reporters to women’s games for whom the back-to-back tournaments would be a new and exhausting gauntlet.

With one tournament flowing into the other, there was the hope that all of Europe could dig into the spirit and devote all their attention on the women’s tournament after the conclusion of the men’s. A supreme summer of sport and celebration.

But now with the Olympics moved back, either the UEFA teams pull out of the quadrennial Games or the Euros go ahead without Sweden, the Netherlands and a handful of British players.  With the Olympic football tournaments technically FIFA tournaments, there is a fear that we could be in for a global game of chicken between the Fédération Internationale de Football Association and UEFA. With any hope, these are baseless fears and UEFA are not about to do something very silly indeed.

However, the silence from UEFA, whilst understandable, only gives rise to confusion and anger, women’s football seen as the lesser sport, again left to pick over the scraps left behind by the men. As it is, the only statement from UEFA about the Women’s Euros is their catch all from 17 March about the men’s tournament: “The UEFA Nations League Finals, the final tournament of the UEFA U21 EURO and the UEFA Women’s EURO all scheduled between June and July 2021 will be re-scheduled accordingly.



Yet it would send a far worse message if new dates were released only to be changed after another tournament gets rescheduled and causes a clash. Whereas, if UEFA take their time to find unobjectionable dates in 2022, the tournament can be inked in with no need for further adjustments. The bonus for 2022 that the Men’s World Cup has been moved to the winter to deal with the searing heat in Qatar, leaving the summer open and free for a celebration of women’s football in Europe [she said hopefully].

As for this summer? Err, anyone up for a game of indoor short tennis..?


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