French Football Federation (FFF) president Noel Le Graet has lauded UEFA's "wise and pragmatic" decision to postpone Euro 2020 by 12 months amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Following a video conference including all 55 member associations on Tuesday, UEFA confirmed its decision to suspend the upcoming Euros and set a new start date of June 11, 2021.

The postponement allows extra time for Europe's domestic seasons to conclude – if possible – after almost all leagues were put on hiatus to combat the spread of COVID-19.

In an FFF statement, Le Graet said: "The French Football Federation fully supports UEFA's decision to postpone Euro 2020 to 11 June 2021 and to adapt the formats for European competitions accordingly.

"The international matches planned for March, including the two matches of the French team from March 27 and 31 at the Stade de France, would therefore logically be postponed to June.

"This wise and pragmatic decision by UEFA makes it possible to fully register in the urgency and the priority of collective action to fight against the coronavirus, while allowing to consider ending the national professional and amateur championships which could be prolonged until June.

"All options will be studied in order to be reactive when resumption of activities is possible. The only concern of the FFF is to make the best decisions, by bringing together all the players in football, to best respect sports equity and limit the impact of this crisis.

"The world of football must be united, responsible and exemplary."

French football is suspended until further notice, with the Coupe de la Ligue – which was initially scheduled for April 4 – among the matches postponed.

COVID-19 was declared pandemic last week and has infected almost 189,000 people since its emergence in China late last year.

France has 6,633 confirmed cases of the virus.

UEFA has postponed Euro 2020 until next year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Norwegian Football Federation.

UEFA hosted a video conference on Tuesday with all 55 member associations and other necessary stakeholders to determine the outlook of the next few months in European football.

Euro 2020 was due to begin in Rome on June 12 before continuing in 11 other cities around Europe, but an early communication from the NFF claims the tournament has been put back to June 11, 2021.

An NFF post on Twitter read: "UEFA has decided that the European Championship is postponed to 2021.

"It will be played from June 11 to July 11 next year. More information to come."

COVID-19 has caused major disruption to sport across the globe, with precious few still taking place as the confirmed number of cases worldwide approaches 188,000.

All of the major European football leagues have been postponed due to the pandemic, with the Premier League, Serie A, Ligue 1, LaLiga and Bundesliga all suspended at least until April.

However, with the infection peak not expected in the United Kingdom until June and cases increasing across the continent, many have suggested an April return for any of those leagues is unrealistic.

The Champions League and Europa League – which, like Euro 2020, are UEFA competitions – have also been put on hold.

The postponement of Euro 2020 buys Europe's domestic competitions a little more time to conclude the 2019-20 campaign, if possible.

Official communication from UEFA regarding the Euros, Champions League and Europa League is expected once Tuesday’s meetings have been concluded.

UEFA has postponed Euro 2020 until next year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Norwegian Football Federation.

Roberto Mancini said Italy can win the European Championship even if the finals are rescheduled for 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

UEFA is set to hold a critical summit on Tuesday, with talks planned on whether or not the finals can be held as scheduled in June and July, and Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina has said he will call for the tournament to be postponed.

Italy has been one of the worst-affected countries by the coronavirus and players across all Serie A clubs are training at home in self-isolation.

The Azzurri's scheduled March friendlies against England and Germany have been cancelled, but head coach Mancini said football is not his top priority at the current time, telling Rai Sport: "I don't know how it will end. But there are more important things than Euro 2020, without a doubt.

"If they postpone the tournament, we can win even in a year. The important thing is the health of everyone and that we can all return to the stadium and enjoy ourselves.

"Seeing people die in these last few days is hurting us too much."

Italy won all 10 of their European Championship qualifying matches, which culminated in a 9-1 thrashing of Armenia in November.

Mancini said he has a squad of players in mind for the finals but indicated he is prepared to reassess his plans if the tournament is postponed.

"I had a fairly safe list of players called," he said. "It was ready with only a few doubts to decide at the last minute.

"However, if the tournament is suspended for a year, there will be a few changes.

"We have to wait to Tuesday to understand if UEFA will decide to postpone Euro 2020. The problems we have had in Italy in the last 15 days will now be seen in other countries."

Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina will call for Euro 2020 to be postponed when he takes part in a meeting with fellow UEFA members on Tuesday.

Europe's biggest leagues and competitions, including UEFA's Champions League and Europa League, are on hold as governments and medical experts attempt to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

On Tuesday, UEFA will hold a video conference with delegates from its 55 member nations to discuss how and when football will be able to proceed.

One option which has been mooted is to delay Euro 2020, either until later in the year or to 2021, to allow the domestic seasons to be completed.

Italy has been the worse-hit country in Europe by the virus, with the country on lockdown until at least April 3, and FIGC boss Gravina has confirmed he wants Euro 2020 to be postponed.

"We will try to reach the end of this [Serie A] season because it is fair and correct to have an outcome for the many efforts and sacrifices from our clubs," Gravina told Mediaset on Sunday.

"The hope is that this happens by June 30, without forgetting that in addition to Serie A there are other championships that must be resolved, and we must also include the Champions League and the Europa League. The deadline is June 30, eventually we will see if we have to go beyond."

Regarding European competition, Gravina said: "On Tuesday we will tackle this issue; the primary principle is the protection of health. Italy is currently two weeks ahead, the other [countries] probably do not yet know the exact size of things.

"We'll ask UEFA to postpone the playing of the European Championship."

Juventus lead the way by one point in Serie A, with Lazio in second, and both have 12 Serie A games remaining. Antonio Conte's Inter are nine points adrift of the leaders in third place, with a game in hand.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas is convinced the top-flight season in Spain will get finished, even if it is at the expense of Euro 2020.

Spain is in a state of alarm amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with the government reporting on Sunday that 288 people had died from COVID-19.

With the country on lockdown, LaLiga has been postponed for at least the next two rounds of fixtures.

As the pandemic continues, UEFA's 55 member nations are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the fate of this season's Champions League and Europa League, along with Euro 2020.

Doubts have been expressed over whether there will be time to complete the domestic seasons in Europe, although if Euro 2020 is postponed that could clear room in the schedule and Tebas is adamant the campaign will be finished.

"I am convinced that we are going to end the season. We are working with other leagues to match dates," said Tebas in an interview with radio station Cadena COPE.

"I have had contacts with Italy, Germany. The approach for now is to see what happens on Tuesday with Euro [2020] and then decide.

"The big clubs in Europe also have a hard time, not just the little ones.

"The news is to see how we finish the championship if there is no Euro because, if not, we are going to have serious problems. We must be in good health, which is the first thing, of course.

"If the competitions are suspended, everything is reviewed and the income is much lower. All team budgets will be compromised if the competition is not over, but I am convinced that it will end."

There is a tense title race ongoing in LaLiga this season, with Barcelona two points ahead of Real Madrid after 27 of 38 scheduled rounds of matches.

Clubs will not be forced to release their players for international duty in March and April amid the coronavirus crisis, with FIFA recommending fixture postponements.

Football has largely come to a standstill worldwide as associations attempt to combat the spread of a virus that has already led to over 5,000 deaths.

The Champions League and Europa League have notably been suspended, along with each of Europe's top five leagues.

Fixtures in MLS, the Scottish Premiership and the English Football League are also all off.

The Premier League, Serie A and LaLiga have paused play until after the scheduled upcoming international break, while the Ligue 1 season has been postponed until further notice.

International football now appears unlikely to continue, too, as clubs - usually powerless to prevent call-ups – have received permission to keep their players following a FIFA Council decision.

FIFA will not impose the postponement of all forthcoming fixtures but is encouraging such measures.

A statement read: "FIFA understands that to hold the matches under current circumstances might not only present potential health risks to players (and to the general public) but would also, most likely, compromise the sporting integrity of such matches insofar as certain teams may be deprived of their best squads whilst others may not.

"To avoid any unnecessary health risks and also situations of potential sporting unfairness, we therefore recommend that all international matches previously scheduled to take place in March and April should now be postponed until such time that they can take place in a safe and secure environment, both for players and for the general public.

"The final decision on this issue rests with the respective competition organisers or relevant member association in case of friendlies."

World Cup qualifiers in Asia and South America have already been pushed back, along with the cancellation of some international friendlies.

UEFA is yet to call off the Euro 2020 play-offs set for the coming weeks, although the tournament's existing schedule appears to be in doubt ahead of a meeting next Tuesday.

Leicester City defender Ricardo Pereira will miss the rest of the season - and most likely Euro 2020 - after damaging his anterior cruciate ligament.

The Portugal international hurt his knee during Leicester's 4-0 victory over Aston Villa in the Premier League on Monday.

Brendan Rodgers confirmed the right-back will be unavailable for selection for the rest of the campaign.

"We've got Ricardo Pereira who will be out for the rest of the season. He had a challenge and has hurt his ACL," Rodgers said on Thursday.

"He's not had an operation. He's just with the medical team. It's a blow for us. It's an opportunity for someone else. It's a shame.

"You've just got to see how the player reacts. You're looking between four to six months.

"That will be the time we are expecting."

There was further bad news for the Foxes in relation to James Maddison, who will be out until after the international break with a calf injury.

Furthermore, Rodgers also announced three Leicester players had "shown symptoms and signs" of coronavirus and were now isolated away from the rest of the squad.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to widespread cancellation of sporting events and fixtures, though some will take place as scheduled but behind closed doors.

There have been 590 confirmed cases in the United Kingdom, with eight deaths.

Leicester sit third in the Premier League and are due to face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday.

UEFA will host a video conference next Tuesday to discuss how European football should respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Champions League and Europa League have already felt the effects of the outbreak and speculation on Thursday suggested an immediate suspension of both competitions was imminent, with similar action having already been taken in domestic competitions across the continent.

However, European football's governing body issued a statement to announce its conference, where the status of Euro 2020 will also be on the agenda.

The statement read: "In the light of the ongoing developments in the spread of COVID-19 across Europe and the changing analysis of the World Health Organisation, UEFA has today [Thursday] invited representatives of its 55 member associations, together with the boards of the European Club Association and the European Leagues and a representative of FIFPro, to attend meetings by video conference on Tuesday, March 17 to discuss European football's response to the outbreak.

"Discussions will include all domestic and European competitions, including UEFA Euro 2020."

Despite delaying its decision over a course of action for senior football, UEFA later announced all matches in its youth tournaments between March 14 and April 14 are postponed.

"This is a general precautionary measure, taken to avoid the possibility of players – many of whom would be minors – being stranded away from their families in the event of host governments declaring lockdowns or quarantines," a separate statement read.

Two Champions League matches this week – Valencia v Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund – took place behind closed doors, while Manchester United's Europa League visit to Austrian club LASK and the games between Eintracht Frankfurt and Basel, and Olympiacos and Wolves will also be staged without supporters.

Juventus defender Daniele Rugani has tested positive for COVID-19, while Real Madrid have imposed a quarantine on their squad after a player from the club's basketball team similarly contracted the virus.

As such, Madrid's Champions League last-16 trip to Manchester City next week and Juventus' game with Lyon – both scheduled on the same day as UEFA's video conference – appear impossible to stage.

Madrid's move to self-quarantine persuaded LaLiga to suspend its next two rounds of fixtures, while no games in Serie A will take place until April 3.

Sevilla's Europa League match against Roma and Inter's clash with Getafe have already been postponed.

All matches in Ligue 1 will take place in empty stadia until next month, while the decisions on whether Bundesliga matches can take place with fans present are been taken on a case-by-case basis.

In France and Spain, the finals of the Coupe de France and the Copa del Rey have both been postponed.

The Premier League is yet to take any division-wide action, although City's planned game against Arsenal this week was postponed as a precaution after personnel from the London club came into contact with Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis, who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Euro 2020 is due to be staged across 12 European cities in June and July, with the tournament kicking off in Rome. Bosnia-Herzegovina have asked UEFA to postpone their qualification play-off match against Northern Ireland because quarantine measures in the country would compromise which players they can select.

Declared a pandemic on Wednesday, the World Health Organisation said on Thursday there had been 124,518 confirmed coronavirus cases and 4,607 deaths.

UEFA has not received a single request to postpone Euro 2020 amid concerns about coronavirus, despite claims to the contrary.

COVID-19 is starting to cause widespread disruption to sport across Europe, particularly in Italy, Germany, France and Spain.

Italy is the most-affected European nation, with 9,172 cases of infection reported as of Tuesday, and that has led to all sporting activities being postponed until April 3.

In Spain, fans have been prohibited from attending games at all levels over the next two matchdays, though that could change after the Spanish Footballers' Association (AFE) requested all action be postponed instead.

Euro 2020, which will be played across 12 European nations, is set to begin in Rome on June 12 – though reports on Tuesday suggested some federations have asked for the tournament be delayed until 2021.

UEFA insists no such requests have been received, however.

A spokesperson told Stats Perform: "We did not receive a single request from national associations to postpone the tournament."

Along with Italy, Euro 2020 is scheduled to be hosted in Azerbaijan, Denmark, England, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Russia, Scotland and Spain.

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte has approved the Italian National Olympic Committee's (CONI) decision to suspend all sporting events in Italy until April 3 after putting the entire country on lockdown following the coronavirus outbreak.

All sport had already been required to take place behind closed doors until April following a previous government decree, but CONI announced new measures on Monday following a significant increase in cases.

Conte confirmed CONI's decision will be implemented, with the prime minister announcing the suspension of Serie A and all sporting events as he extended the restriction of movement to the nation's entire population, having previously only been in place for specific so-called "red zones".

All public gatherings have banned other than for work or emergency purposes, with a total of 9,172 people infected as of Monday.

"There is no more time, the numbers tell us there is a significant increase in the contagion, in intensive care and deaths," Conte said in a news conference.

"Our habits have to change, we must sacrifice something for the good of all of Italy. This is why we will adopt even more stringent measures.

"I will sign the new decree, which can be summed up with the phrase 'I am staying at home'. There are no more red zones, there is just an Italy that is protected.

"We must avoid travel unless for proven work reasons, health reasons or other necessities. We ban large public gatherings.

"We also have more stringent measures in mind for sporting events. Serie A and all sporting tournaments in general are suspended. All the fans must accept that."

It is unclear what this will mean for Champions League and Europa League matches involving Italian teams.

UEFA is yet to postpone any matches, but it did confirm on Monday Roma's upcoming Europa League contest with Sevilla at Stadio Olimpico on March 19 will be played behind closed doors.

Another UEFA competition, Euro 2020, is due to begin in Rome on June 12.

Michael O'Neill said it was "devastating" to hear that Stoke City midfielder Joe Allen will miss Wales' Euro 2020 campaign due to injury.

Allen ruptured an Achilles tendon during the first half of Saturday's 5-1 Championship thrashing of Hull City at the bet365 Stadium.

The 29-year-old will sit out the rest of the domestic season and will be unavailable to Ryan Giggs as Wales attempt to emulate their achievements of four years ago, when they reached the semi-finals in France.

"It's devastating for us and devastating for the boy. Not only will he miss the rest of the season but obviously miss Euro 2020 as well," O'Neill said via Stoke's website.

"He's a great lad and when you're a coach and a manager you want the good lads to get the rewards and do well in the game. Joe's a low-maintenance player but a high-output player.

"I know what it means for him to play for Wales and obviously we [Northern Ireland] played them in 2016 as well and he had a fantastic tournament then. I'm sure he would have been looking forward to the finals and a chance for him to show again that he's a top, top international player, which he's proven to be in the past. It's taken a bit of the shine away for me.

"I kind of feel like I did when Chris Brunt got injured before Euro 2016 and missed it. These things don't come around often in players' careers so when it's taken away from them cruelly with injury it's not very nice."

Turkey striker Cenk Tosun is a major doubt for Euro 2020 after suffering damage to his anterior cruciate ligament while on loan at Crystal Palace.

Tosun sustained the injury during a training session on Monday and Everton consequently cut short his stay with their Premier League rivals.

No time frame for his recovery has been offered by Everton, though it seems unlikely he will be fit to feature for Turkey in the European Championship.

Turkey will take on Italy in Rome in the opening match of Euro 2020 on June 12, before facing Wales and Switzerland in their other Group A games.

Tosun scored one goal in five appearances for Roy Hodgson's team, having joined on loan during the January transfer window.

He will undergo a procedure on his knee and begin his rehabilitation at Everton's Finch Farm training ground.

Tosun wrote on Instagram: "Sometimes life hits you hard but it ain’t about how hard you get hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. I will definitely come back stronger, no doubt."

Harry Kane is confident he will be fit to represent England at Euro 2020 as he targets a return for Tottenham in April.

England captain Kane has been sidelined since January 1 due to a hamstring tear that required surgery.

Having previously suggested it was unlikely the striker would return until May, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho last week confirmed he was back in training ahead of schedule.

Kane believes he could be on the pitch in just over a month and will be ready to lead his country at the European Championship.

"In my head, I am definitely at the Euros," Kane told ES Magazine.

"Unless something pretty drastic happens between now and then, I'll be there. I'm still not back training with the first team, but I'm working hard in the gym, I'm getting stronger all the time. 

"We're talking a few more weeks, and I'll be playing again. I don't want to make a prediction for which game I might be back, but I am hoping somewhere between the start and the middle of April."

Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman is positive about Memphis Depay's recovery from a knee injury ahead of Euro 2020.

The Lyon star ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in December, putting him in doubt for the upcoming European Championship.

However, Koeman is upbeat about the 26-year-old's recovery ahead of the tournament in June and July.

"We have regular contact. I went to him in Rome. I know about his recovery," he told a news conference after the draw for the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League was held on Tuesday.

"It looks positive. It's a long way for him still."

Koeman added: "We don't have the certainty he will make the Euros. He has a long way to go.

"Time will tell if he will be fit."

Depay had scored 14 goals and provided two assists in 18 games in all competitions before his injury.

The Netherlands will face Ukraine, Austria and a play-off winner in Group C at the tournament.

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