After several postponements, UEFA have decided to cancel the European U19 Championship in Northern Ireland due to the Coronavirus pandemic. In a statement on Tuesday evening, UEFA pointed to the “continuing epidemiological situation in Europe and the travel difficulties as a result of that.”
The tournament was supposed to be held in the summer of 2020 before it was postponed to March 2021. It would have also been an opportunity to qualify for the U20s World Cup in 2021 in Indonesia. UEFA have instead decided to award a place in the tournament to the teams occupying the top five positions in the UEFA qualifying round coefficient ranking for the 2019/20 season. Those teams are England, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.
A new format in which teams will be divided amongst three divisions with promotion, relegation and a subsequent tournament featuring eight sides will no longer take place in the summer of 2022 as planned. This will now be introduced in 2022/23, and a European U19 Championship will thus take place in 2021/22.