UEFA has postponed all Elite round mini-tournaments of the U17 and WU17, U19 and WU19 European championships. The decision comes in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The Netherlands U19 squad were preparing for the Elite round on home soil on the grounds of Achilles 1894 and Harkemase Boys football clubs. They were scheduled to play Finland on Wednesday, 25 March, Switzerland on Saturday, 28 March and the Czech Republic on Tuesday, 31 March.
The Netherlands' U17 Elite round was scheduled in Austria as a qualifying tournament for the finals in Estonia. The Dutch squad were to face Germany on Wednesday, March 25, Portugal on Saturday, March 28 and Austria on Tuesday, March 31.
The Netherlands WU17 were to have started their qualifying campaign for the European Championships this coming weekend. Their fixtures against Scotland (Saturday, March 14), Croatia (Tuesday, March 17) and Germany (Friday, March 20) have now been postponed. The venues were the Dutch towns of Gendt and Venray. Gendt recently took the place of Uden, in Noord-Brabant province, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus.
The Netherlands WU17 squad would have played their first Elite round qualifying match against Romania on Wednesday, 8 April before taking on Iceland (11 April) and Shotland (14 april). All these matches, scheduled on home soil, have also been postponed.
This is a general precautionary measure
UEFA says the decision was taken in the light of developments due to the spread of COVID-19 in Europe and the related travelling restrictions imposed by governments. “This is a general precautionary measure, taken to avoid the possibility of players – many of whom would be minors – being stranded away from their families in the event of host governments declaring lockdowns or quarantines.”
Further information about the rescheduling of these four youth competitions will be given in due course.
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