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UEFA taking coronavirus seriously but confident Euro 2020 will go ahead

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

17:35 5 Mar 2020

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is confident that Euro 2020 will go ahead as planned, despite fears over the coronavirus. 

Games in Italy have been ordered to be played behind closed doors until April 3, while the Six Nations clash of Italy and England set for March 14 has been postponed.

The panic regarding COVID-19 had led some to question whether this summer's European Championships would be affected, given that they're to be played across 12 different cities - including four matches at Dublin's Aviva Stadium.

But speaking to Sky Sports, Ceferin insists they're taking the coronavirus outbreak seriously but adds that there is no benefit to panicking.

The Slovenian official told Bryan Swanson, "It's obviously a serious thing.

"It's something that we will have to deal on top of all the other issues that we have to deal with, we organise many events. But I'm optimistic.

"I still think that things will be under control way before the Euros start. So, I'm not worried about it.

"We are not so far that we would speak about concrete scenarios when the Euros starts. Again, I would like to stress, we are calm, and we are confident. For now, everything is under control."

Ceferin was asked if the tournament could be scaled down as a result of the outbreak, but replied, "I don't want to even think about it because we are, for now, sure that everything will go exactly as planned. We already reserved the hotels [in London for the semi-finals and final at Wembley], it would be a problem if it doesn't happen."

"Being full of panic, shouting all days, threatening, doesn't mean you take it seriously. You take it seriously if you assess the situation properly but, at the same time, calmly and without panicking."

Scrapping League Cup "better for everyone"

Meanwhile, Ceferin says it would be "better for everyone" if the English League Cup was scrapped.

Speaking with The Times, the lawyer claimed ditching the second of England's cup competitions would help ease fixture congestion with extra Champions League matches a possibility in the near future.

Ceferin told Martyn Ziegler, "The League Cup is off in France already. Only England remains. I think that everybody knows that it would be better for everyone if that were not played anymore.

"But the problem is that, through that cup, you finance a lot of clubs that are quite disadvantaged, so I understand the problem. The English are also quite traditionalist, you like things that have been there for ages."

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Aleksander Ceferin Aviva Stadium Carabao Cup Coronavirus Covid-19 Dublin Euro 2020 League Cup UEFA UEFA Champions League Uefa Euro 2020

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