England could get double dose of European Championship action in 2021 as UEFA plans to shrink the Under 21 tournament to host next summer
- The European Championship has been moved to next summer
- UEFA planned to postpone the U21 tournament, including in 2021
- They are now talking about the competition’s shoe grouse to a packed summer
- One of the proposals is to reduce the number of teams from 12 to 8
UEFA plans to reduce the number of teams in the European Championship under 21 next year so they can turn the tournament into a busy summer.
The European governing body planned to postpone the tournament for 12 months to avoid a clash with the rescheduled European Seniors Championship – an action they have already announced for the ladies’ euro.
But now they are on their way to host the league next year in what would be a great summer of international football.
The European Under-21 Championship, held by Spain, could take place next summer
Sportsmail may reveal that one of the proposals under consideration for both tournaments to take place would bring the number of teams in the Under 21 edition from 12 to eight, which would make it more difficult for England to qualify.
Aidy Boothroyd’s side is at the top of their qualifying group, winning all four games before the games were suspended in March. The manager may welcome the tournament process in 2021 as his contract expires next summer.
This has cast doubt on whether he would be in charge if it were delayed by a year.
However, a collision with the European Championship for seniors can pose problems for Gareth Southgate. He has called up several Under 21 stars, including Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi, for his recent squadrons, and this plan would make him a tough decision on how to use them.
Phil Foden and England are at the top of their qualifying group and have won all four games
Boothroyd would like to choose the best possible squad for the tournament in Hungary and Slovenia after England crashed in the group stages of last year’s league.
That led to intense criticism of the 49-year-old, but Southgate’s side was prioritized by the FA. UEFA is aware that pushing back the Under 21 tournament 12 months would mean many players would no longer qualify, impeding their development and disrupting qualification for the 2023 league.
To further complicate matters, several players under the age of 21 could also take part in next year’s Olympics – a competition for young people under the age of 23.