Just as the UEFA, the European governing body of football, is gathering to discuss what to do with the Euro 2020 anniversary soccer cup, Russia has offered to host the event itself, originally designed to be played in 12 stadiums across Europe.
“Russia is ready to extend its help in the difficult situation the organizers find themselves in,” Alexey Sorokin, the head of the St. Petersburg organizing committee, said on Monday.
The UEFA made the decision to hold the 60th anniversary European Cup in twelve cities: London, Munich, Rome, Baku, St. Petersburg, Budapest, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Dublin, Glasgow and Copenhagen, with locations listed in descending order according to their stadium capacities.
The event is scheduled for between June 12 to July 12, but with many European countries having already canceled sporting events due to the coronavirus pandemic, including national football championships.
The only countries in Europe which held league matches last Saturday were Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Serbia, and Ukraine. Turkey’s matches were played behind closed doors.
Since then, the Hungarian Football Association has also announced that its league will be suspended. All Champions League and Europa League fixtures scheduled for this week have been called off.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has called a meeting of representatives of its 55 associations, the European Clubs’ Association, the European Leagues and world players’ union, Fifpro, to discuss football’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Russia, however, which is one of the countries with the lowest number of coronavirus cases, is ready to step in for the others.
“We are prepared to fight shoulder to shoulder, but we must first discuss the format and the number of matches,” Sorokin said. Russia last hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
Title image: Antalyaspor’s Lukas Podolski, right no 11, jumps for the ball along with Sivasspor’s goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa, center no 30, during a Turkish Super League soccer match between Antalyaspor and Sivasspor in Antalya, Turkey, Monday, March 16, 2020. The match was played without spectators because of the coronavirus outbreak. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo)