UEFA abandons attempt to hold under-19 finals

Paris, France: UEFA has given up on holding its under-19 championships in Northern Ireland and cancelled the tournament, which had already been postponed several times.

The governing body of European football issued a statement, dated Tuesday evening, which said that the decision was “due to the current unresolved epidemiological situation in Europe and resulting travelling difficulties.”

The under-19 Euros were originally scheduled for Northern Ireland at the end of July 2020, with a final on August 1, but were postponed first to November and then to March next year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The tournament was also a qualifier for the under-20 World Cup, scheduled for Indonesia starting on May 20, 2021.

UEFA announced that it had selected its five top-ranked under-19 teams, France, England, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal, as its entrants. Spain, who won the last under-19 Euros in 2019, miss out.

UEFA also said it had decided to postpone a plan to restructure the competition into three tiers, like the Nations League, and will run the 2021/22 under-19 competition in the traditional format.

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