On Thursday, the UEFA Executive Committee confirmed that the women’s EURO 2021 will be played from 6th to 31st July 2022. The goal is to use the same venues as previously planned.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said about the decision; “When we made the decision to postpone EURO 2020, we always had women’s EURO 2021 in mind. We carefully weighed up all of our options. Our commitment to the growth of women’s football was always at the forefront of our considerations. By postponing the UEFA Women's EURO for a year, we are ensuring that women's football's flagship competition remains the only major tournament of the summer and thus receives its well-deserved attention.”
Head coach of the Germany women’s team Martina Voss-Tecklenburg said; “I welcome the decision to play the competition in 2022, and not to play it at the same time as the men. “Regardless of the fact that playing the women’s EURO 2021 would’ve ben hard to imagine, due to the postponement of the Olympic Games, we need a unique selling point in order to attract the widest possible audience. Experience from past World Cups and European Championships have shown that we can achieve an extremely broad reach for the sport. We’re adjusting our plans accordingly, and are convinced that we’ll have a great tournament in 2022.”
The postponement of the finals of the women’s EUROs follows UEFA’s decision to delay UEFA EURO 2020 until the year 2021, due to the recent outbreak of COVID-19. The health of all those involved remains a top priority for UEFA, who also hope that current national championships and European competitions can be concluded. In the run-up to the event, discussions were help with the organisers of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. UEFA and the English FA will continue to work closely with said organisers, in order to ensure that summer 2022 is an eventful festival of top-level sport.
Nadine Keßler, head of the UEFA Department for Women’s Football, said: “together with the FA, we asked ourselves, ‘what is the best solution for women’s football?’ Given that the Olympic Games will now be held in 2021, we’re convinced that postponement until 2022 is what’s best for the tournament, the players, the fans and those involved at all levels of women’s football. The UEFA Women’s EURO is Europe’s biggest event in women’s sport, and one of the biggest sporting event worldwide. So it needs and deserves its own stage. The decision allows us to hold a tournament that is watched around the world, maximise media coverage and increase attendance. This way, we can pursue our main goal of inspiring the next generation of young women to play the game. The choice was also made for the year 2022 in order to be able to carry out further advertising and partner schemes. The would have been much more difficult in 2021, due to the large amount of big events taking place that summer. It’s a clear signal of loyalty on the part of our partners, which are with us in regards to our decision to market women’s and men’s football separately.”
Baroness Sue Campbell, FA director of women’s football, explained; “As a nation and as a football association, it makes us immensely proud to be able to host women’s EURO 2021. It’s our firm intention to offer all players, employees and fans a unique football experience when we welcome the best of European women’s football to England. But the sport must also adapt accordingly, given that the world is facing bigger challenges. During these unprecedented times, it’s important to remember that public health is an absolute priority for us. After conversations with UEFA, we’re united in this decision to postpone women’s EURO 2021. We share the same estimation that this decision will be good for the tournament, because it will take place during its own window in the sporting calendar. Last but not least, in the challenging situation we all have more time to organise a unique event, worthy of the EURO finals in our own country. Until now, we’ve made great strides with the planning of the tournament, and would like to thank all of our host cities and venues for their continued engagement and support. Our thanks also go to the Commonwealth Games Federation for their constructive assistance in coordinating the new dates. We’re excited to provide a platform for top performances in women’s sport at both events. Discussions with cities, stadia and our partners will continue in the coming months. The aim will be to host a women’s European Championship finals on home soil that will break all records. We’re convinced that it will be worth the wait.”
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin added: “thanks to the FA, local organisational committees and UEFA members for sharing our opinions that postponement of the tournament until 2022 will benefit women’s football. Once again, the football family speaks with a united voice. We’ll be able to celebrate a summer of European football in 2021 an 2022. We want to that FIFA and the Commonwealth Games Federation for their assistance, in which we were able to reach an agreement on dates for the tournament.”
Further information, including potential amendments to dates and changing the name of the tournament, will be given in due course.