UEFA is trying to find a new window for the 2021 Women’s European Championship because several postponed competitions will now clash with the tournament, sources told The Telegraph’s Katie Whyatt.
European football’s administrative body was already hosting its flagship women’s competition and the men’s Under-21 Championship in summer 2021. However, the coronavirus pandemic has resulted in the 2020 Olympics, and soccer’s Euro 2020 and Copa America encroaching on what was a potentially large audience for the women’s game in 2021.
Summer 2022 appears to be the most convenient slot for the Women’s European Championship, although staging it in England ahead of Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games – the multi-sport event running from July 22 to August 7 – may prove problematic for UEFA. The 2022 edition of the World Cup will be held in November rather than the summer due to the extreme heat in the controversial host nation of Qatar.
“It looks like 2021 is not really an option if we want the competition to have the best possible platform,” said a UEFA source. “It’s still an option, but to me it is much more likely that it will go to 2022, in the summer, because there are no other football competitions then. If you look at a lot of the factors that would be taken into account when making the decision, I think that’s when you could really have the competition stand by itself.
“We want to find the best date so that it can have its own platform. For the competition to be successful, it has to have a platform on its own.”
The rescheduled final for the men’s Euros is July 11, 2021, four days after the women’s Euros are slated to begin. It wouldn’t take much tinkering from UEFA to ensure the men’s tournament concludes before the women’s event begins.
However, launching the latter competition in England after the organization’s staff have been posted across the continent for the men’s pan-European event would be a logistical headache. It would undoubtedly eat into preparation for the women’s contest, too.
Cramming both the women’s and men’s Euros into the same summer would also leave little time before the suspended 2020 Tokyo Games commence in 2021.
UEFA’s executive committee will consult its member associations, and the competition venues and host cities in England, before choosing when to host the Women’s Euro 2021. A final decision is expected in the coming weeks.