UEFA has confirmed that the next women's Euro in Engand will now be held in 2022, a year later than initially planned.(Photo: AFP)
The next women's European Championship in England has been put back a year to 2022, UEFA confirmed on Thursday, after initially being postponed as a knock-on effect of the coronavirus crisis.
European football's governing body confirmed that the competition will be staged from July 6-31, 2022, following a meeting of its Executive Committee.
The competition was put back after the earlier decision to delay the men's European Championship by a year to 2021 in the face of the pandemic, and the desire to avoid a clash of the two tournaments.
"When we had to take an urgent decision on the postponement of UEFA Euro 2020, we always had the impact on UEFA women's Euro 2021 in mind," said UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
"We have carefully considered all options, with our commitment to the growth of women's football at the forefront of our thinking."
Dismissing concerns that the women's game might be considered an afterthought, Ceferin added that the move to 2022 ensured that the women's Euro would be given "the spotlight it deserves".
Moving the Euros to 2022 also avoids any clash with the Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back a year to 2021.
The Olympics are a key part of the women's football calendar, and three European teams -- Great Britain, reigning European champions the Netherlands, and Sweden -- have qualified for the Games.
The final of the women's Euro is set to be played at Wembley, which is also the venue for both semi-finals and the final of the men's tournament.
The English FA's director of women's football, Sue Campbell, said that the host nation backed the decision to delay the tournament by a year, even though the new dates mean the end of the Euros will clash with the Commonwealth Games, being held in Birmingham starting on July 27.
"We agree that this decision will ultimately benefit the tournament, creating its own window in the football calendar. It will also allow us all more time following this challenging period to deliver an unforgettable event befitting of a home Euro," she said.