City boys miss out on European Championships after coronavirus forces postponement until 2021
PUBLISHED: 12:44 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:46 17 March 2020
The European Championships have been postponed for one year due to the spread of coronavirus - meaning the likes of Norwich City duo Teemu Pukki and Tim Krul will not be representing their countries this summer.
The Norwegian FA initially tweeted the tournament was off until 2021 on Tuesday following a video conference call between Uefa with all the member associations and other key stakeholders in the European game. Uefa then confirmed the news in a statement with the tournament now scheduled to take place from June 11 to July 11 2021.
Pukki would have spearheaded Finland’s first ever tilt at the finals while City keeper Krul had recently earned a recall to the Holland squad and was expected to feature in friendlies later this month.
A number of other Canaries also had a chance to reach this summer’s cancelled tournament via upcoming play-offs. The Uefa statement advises those play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation.
Northern Ireland pair Michael McGovern and Jamal Lewis were named in the squad for a trip to Bosnia & Herzegovina, while Kenny McLean and Grant Hanley were likely to be part of Scotland’s plans for a Hampden play-off against Israel.
On loan Hertha Berlin midfielder Ondrej Duda was another in line for a play-off date as Slovakia were due to host the Republic of Ireland, which had already been shifted to a behind-closed-doors tie before the latest decision.
Canaries’ trio Max Aarons, Todd Cantwell and Ben Godfrey would have been in contention for the England U21s, but Euro 2021 qualifiers against Andorra in Stoke and Turkey in Burnley had already been postponed, along with the senior England friendlies against Denmark and Italy at Wembley.
Adam Idah was in the same situation with the Republic of Ireland U21s scheduled to host Iceland and travel to Luxembourg in Euro qualifiers later this month.
The Premier League, Football League, FA and other partners announced a suspension of all professional football last Friday until the weekend of April 3.
City’s squad have been given individual training plans and told to stay away from Colney until March 24 at the earliest.