‘You couldn’t stand with any certainty and say it will take place next year’: England boss Gareth Southgate casts doubt over Euro 2020 as coronavirus cases continue to rise
- England boss Gareth Southgate says it is not certain Euro 2020 will go ahead
- There are eight months to go until the tournament but Covid cases are still rising
- The competition’s Europe-wide format could prove difficult in current situation
- Southgate said the set-up could change but backed Wembley to host games
Gareth Southgate has expressed doubt over whether Euro 2020 can go ahead because of the Covid pandemic.
London is one of the host cities for next summer’s tournament but the recent spike in coronavirus cases has raised questions over England’s viability as a staging nation.
Southgate says he is confident Wembley can still host matches, but admits the scenario of how the tournament will go ahead remains unknown.
England manager Gareth Southgate believes it is not a certainty that Euro 2020 will happen
The Europe-wide tournament was pushed back until 2021 in March due to the coronavirus
‘You couldn’t stand with any certainty and say the Euros will take place next year,’ said Southgate.
‘You couldn’t stand with certainty and say it is going to take place in the format it is expected to. You hope, the indications are that towards spring things might look a bit brighter and I think generally those predictions have been fairly accurate.
‘We would definitely be capable of hosting, we are due to host a lot of games at Wembley anyway so I don’t think that will change, but it really is an unknown what the format might end up looking like.’
He backed Wembley to host games next summer but admitted the format may have to change
The chaos caused by the virus led to the highly-anticipated competition being pushed back by a year in March, with UEFA saying the decision ‘came at a huge cost but hoped it would allow domestic leagues to finish their seasons.
It is currently slated to run from June 11 to July 11, but with cases continuing to be on the rise in a number of European cities, there have been fears that the event will come under threat once again next summer.
The Three Lions have been drawn in Group D with Croatia, the Czech Republic, while the winner of Scotland v Serbia will be the last to join the group, which will play their games at Wembley Stadium and Hampden Park.
For now, Southgate and his side are focusing on success in the Nations League, with games against Belgium and Denmark coming up on Sunday and Wednesday respectively.