UEFA have announced the postponement of the Women's Euro 2021 Championship which was due to be played in England next year.
Instead, Euro 2021 will now be played in 2022 from 6 July to 31 July while it is planned to use the same venues that were originally proposed to host the event.
The men's Euro 2020 pan-European tournament has been rescheduled for 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic and the UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said that they do not want the men's tournament to overshadow the women's.
"When we had to take an urgent decision on the postponement of UEFA EURO 2020, we always had the impact on UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 in mind," said Čeferin.
"We have carefully considered all options, with our commitment to the growth of women’s football at the forefront of our thinking.
"By moving UEFA Women’s EURO to the following year, we are ensuring that our flagship women’s competition will be the only major football tournament of the summer, providing it with the spotlight it deserves."
UEFA's chief of women’s football, Nadine Kessler, believes that avoiding any clash with the rescheduled Tokyo Games, which were moved to 2021, was also important.
"The core question guiding us together with the English FA was: What is best for women’s football?
"With the Olympics now being confirmed for summer 2021, we firmly believe that moving to 2022 is in the best interests of the tournament, the players, the fans, women’s football partners and everybody involved in all areas and at all levels of the game.
"UEFA Women’s EURO is Europe’s biggest women’s sport event. It is also among the biggest sports events in the world, and therefore needs and deserves a platform of its own.
"This decision puts us in a position to deliver a tournament that attracts global attention, maximises media coverage and increases stadium attendances, and is therefore helping us to meet our core objective of inspiring the next generation of footballers.
"2022 also allows for further promotion and partner activation, which would have been much more difficult in what is now a crowded summer in 2021.
"It is a clear sign of commitment to our dedicated partners who have joined us since we decided to separate the sponsorship of women’s football from men’s football."
Vera Pauw's Republic of Ireland team still have a strong chance of qualifying for the tournament, which would be the first time an Irish women's team qualifies for a major finals.
The Girls in Green top Group I on 13 points albeit having played one more game than second placed Germany who have won all four of their matches and have yet to play Ireland.
The group winners and the three runners-up with the best record against the sides first, third, fourth and fifth in their sections will join hosts England in the final tournament.
The other six runners-up will play off for the remaining three berths in the 16-team finals.