This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Comment’ series, this content strand is where the author of the article issues their personal opinion on the topic at hand…
UEFA’s latest decision in the face of the worldwide Covid-19 outbreak is likely to leave many football fans frustrated but it could prove good news for Bristol City.
It was announced earlier today that UEFA had postponed Euro 2020 until next summer.
The tournament, which involves 24 European national teams and is set to be held in locations all across the continent, was scheduled be played in June and July this year.
According to a statement on the UEFA website, the decision was made in order to give priority to the completion of domestic competitions–with fixtures across the continent currently suspended due to the outbreak of the virus.
It seems the wise move but is still likely to be a frustrating outcome for many fans, with excitement for the tournament having been building for months.
In the short-term, however, it may prove good news for the Robins.
There are a string of players in City’s squad that could have been traveling to this summer’s tournament to represent their national side.
Tomas Kalas is a regular in the Czech Republic squad, while Ashley Williams and Joe Morrell have featured for Wales in the qualifying campaign – both sides have secured their place at the tournament already.
Adam Nagy’s Hungary and Callum O’Dowda’s Republic of Ireland are both in the play-offs, while Sweden have qualified and could’ve look to include Niclas Eliasson after his impressive performances this season.
The postponement of the tournament will allow those City players that would otherwise have been involved to have a rest and should mean that the South West club can involve all of their squad in a full pre-season.
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This is particularly important for players like Kalas and Nagy, who have struggled with injury issues this season.
City have already suffered from Hungary utilising Nagy when he was not fully fit, as happened during an international break earlier in the season.
The Hungarian midfielder joined in the summer but due to a long-running ankle issue, has not been able to hold down a regular place in the side–starting just 13 times in the Championship.
The last thing the Robins’ needed was for that duo, and any other players at the tournament, to pick up new injury issues, or aggravate existing ones, in the summer.
We don’t yet know how the end of the current Championship campaign or the start of the new one will look but there is certainly an argument to be made the postponement of Euro 2020 is good news for the South West club.
Obviously, the Robins will have to face this issue next summer, however, given the struggles with injury issues they have had in the current campaign, the chance to start fresh and without an international tournament could be a huge boost.