The 2020 UEFA European Under-19 Championship finals, which were set to be staged in Northern Ireland, have been cancelled.
A decision to call off the tournament was made by the UEFA Executive Committee, citing the ‘current unresolved epidemiological situation in Europe and resulting travelling difficulties'.
The UEFA men’s tournament was originally to have been staged in Belfast, Ballymena, Lurgan and Portadown from 19 July to 1 August. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the finals were postponed until November and then pushed back to the spring of 2021. Now UEFA has cancelled the event.
As hosts, Northern Ireland would have taken part in the tournament which would have seen some of Europe's most promising young stars on display.
In a statement issued this evening, European football's governing body confirmed that, as the competition was a qualifier to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup - which is scheduled to take place in May 2021 - it was decided that the five slots reserved for European teams in the competition be allocated 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, Netherlands and Portugal.