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Tuesday 17 Mar 2020
WATCH | IFA CEO Patrick Nelson calls for football family to come together during ‘difficult time’

Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson is fully behind UEFA’s decision to postpone the Euro 2020 Final Tournament until the summer of 2021.

He said UEFA had done “the right thing” in rescheduling the tournament given the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic across Europe and the uncertainty it has brought to both the world and the world of sport.

He welcomed the “definitive move” to push back the Euros until 2021 thus providing the space for national leagues to finish their competitions this season.

The chief executive and Irish FA President David Martin took part in conference calls involving UEFA’s 55 member associations, the board of the European Club Association and the European Leagues board earlier today.

The more together we can be over the next few weeks and months, hopefully the better for all of us

He revealed talks are ongoing with NIFL about how Northern Ireland’s Danske Bank Premiership and the NIFL second and third tier leagues can be completed this season. 

He also called on the Northern Ireland football family to come together at “this difficult time for all of us”.

“The more together we can be over the next few weeks and months, hopefully the better for all of us,” he said.

Next week’s Path B Euro play-off semi-final between Northern Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina has also been rescheduled until the international window this June.

“We can’t be sure we will back playing football by then but that is the initial plan UEFA have laid out today,” the chief executive pointed out.