Football

2021 U21 European Championships Likely To Be Pushed Back To 2022

2021 U21 European Championships Likely To Be Pushed Back To 2022

UEFA's announcement this week that there will be no football played before July was of obvious interest to Ireland fans who are interested when we'll play Slovakia in the Euro 2020 2021 playoff and who'll be Ireland's manager in that match.

The announcement also has some consequences for the 2021 U21 European championships, which were set to take place two summers from now. Ireland currently sit on top of their group and have played some incredible football in the qualifying matches. It's a star-studded young Ireland team that's been managed by Stephen Kenny and featured the likes of Adam Idah, Troy Parrott, Jay Molumby, Connor Ronan and many others.

Yesterday the Danish Football Association confirmed that the Women's U21 Euros will be deferred from 2021 to 2022 in order to avoid a clash with the Olympics and Euro 2021. Sources tell Balls.ie that although there has been no official confirmation yet from UEFA, it is expected that the men's U21 Euros will also be postponed by a year and be held in 2022.

Ireland have 3 group games remaining in their qualifying campaign. Fixtures against Iceland and Luxembourg will be need to be rescheduled while Ireland are set to travel to Italy on October 13.

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The decision to defer the tournament to 2022 could have bearing on the Ireland team that is selected for the tournament, should we qualify. The tournament criteria establishes that players born on or after January 1, 1998 are eligible to play however it's unclear if that would need to be revisited if the tournament start date was deferred by a year.

The postponement would also create the possibility of Stephen Kenny managing the Ireland U21s in the European Championships in the summer and the Ireland senior team to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar later in the winter.

Donny Mahoney

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