The UEFA Executive Committee decided on Thursday, after an agreement with the European Club Association and the European Leagues, to recover the dates lost due to the cancellation of the March 2020 window and the postponement of EURO 2020 to the summer of 2021, by extending the March and September 2021 windows in the FIFA international match calendar so that three matches instead of two could be accommodated. This solution has already been implemented, with FIFA’s approval, for the international windows of October and November 2020.
The calendar for European national team matches will therefore now be as follows, pending FIFA’s approval.
22–31 March 2021: 3 dates
31 May–8 June 2021: EURO preparation friendly matches
30 August–8 September 2021: 3 dates
4–12 October 2021: 2 dates
8–16 November 2021: 2 dates
21–29 March 2022: 2 dates for European Qualifiers play-offs
The UEFA Nations League Finals will be played on 6/7 October 2021 for the semi-finals, with the final and third-place match then taking place on 10 October 2021. Three associations in Group 1 have declared their interest in hosting the finals (Italy, Netherlands and Poland).
The UEFA Executive Committee also decided to allow up to five substitutions for all matches played in the UEFA Nations League, the European Qualifiers play-offs, the UEFA Women’s EURO Qualifiers, the UEFA Champions League and the UEFA Europa League as from the group stage, and the UEFA Women’s Champions League, for the remainder of the season, in order to alleviate the burden on players caused by the condensed 2020/21 international match calendar amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Consequently, the number of players permitted on the match sheet will be increased to 23, when this is not already the case.
Fixture list procedure for European Qualifiers
The procedure to be used in December 2020 to establish the European Qualifiers fixtures for the 2022 FIFA World Cup was ratified taking into account a variety of elements, including winter venues, travel distance, home-and-away sequence and the number of teams per group, among others.
Special measures for European play-off matches
Special measures regulating the play-off matches, which are crucial to complete the field of participants of the UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament, were approved in light of Covid-19 and similarly to what has already been approved for other competitions.
UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League regulations
The Executive Committee approved special rules for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League with regard to the organisation of matches in the light of Covid-19.
UEFA Women’s Champions League regulations
Following the decision taken by the UEFA Executive Committee on 15 September 2020 to change the format and calendar of the 2020/21 UEFA Women’s Champions League, the competition regulations have been revised accordingly and special rules have been introduced to clarify the process, consequences and responsibility in relation to the organisation of matches in case of both travel restrictions and positive Covid-19 tests.
New format for UEFA Youth League
A new format was approved for the 2020/21 UEFA Youth League because of existing difficulties in organising the competition and the reluctance for minor players to travel in the current context.
The competitions will feature straight knockout matches from the round of 64.
The competition will start in March 2021 with final details to be approved by the UEFA Executive Committee in due course.