UEFA Women’s EURO moved to summer 2022 to reach full potential
The already postponed UEFA Women’s EURO 2021 will now be played in England from 6 July to 31 July 2022, the UEFA Executive Committee has confirmed.
The aim of the deferment is to ensure that the women’s tournament is the only major football event of that summer, as well as preventing scheduling clashes with the 2021 Olympics, allowing the Women’s EURO to take centre stage.
UEFA intends to use the same venues that were originally proposed to host the event.
Commenting on the rescheduling, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said: “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. 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.”
The decision to move UEFA Women’s EURO came after UEFA announced on 17 March that UEFA EURO 2020 would be postponed to 2021 following the global outbreak of COVID-19 and the duty of UEFA to protect the health of all those involved in the game, while allowing domestic leagues and European competitions to be completed. The extensive discussions leading to the move included talks with organisers of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with whom UEFA and the English Football Association continue to work with collaboratively to ensure that 2022 provides a memorable summer of elite sport.
UEFA’s chief of women’s football, Nadine Kessler, said: “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,” added Kessler. “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.”
The English FA’s director of women’s football, Baroness Sue Campbell, said: “As a nation and at the FA, we are extremely proud to be hosting UEFA Women’s EURO 2021, and are fully committed to delivering a world-class experience for players, staff and fans alike as the best of the European game comes to England.
“However, the sporting calendar must adapt while the world tackles something much bigger than sport,” warned Campbell. “In these unprecedented times, it should be reiterated that the health of our communities remains the absolute priority for us all. As a result, following discussions with UEFA, we fully support its decision to postpone UEFA Women’s EURO 2021. We agree that this decision will ultimately benefit the tournament, creating its own window in the football calendar. It will also allow us all more time following this challenging period to deliver an unforgettable event befitting of a home EURO.”
She continued: “We have made excellent progress in the planning of the tournament to date, and particularly want to thank our host cities and venues for their ongoing commitment and support. We are also grateful to the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) for its collaboration as we sought to confirm these
new dates, and look forward to working together to showcase the best of women’s sport across both of our events.”
Further details, including potential amendments to the match calendar or the name of the tournament, will be announced in due course.