Italy coach ready to play Euros in 2021

Italy coach Roberto Mancini said on Sunday he was ready for the European Championship to be postponed until 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“We would have won the European Championship this summer; we can also win it in 2021,” Mancini told Italian television station Rai Sport.

“Let’s wait to see what UEFA decides, but I adapt to everything, right now the priority is to save lives.”

Italy are set to host the opening match in Rome on June 12, in a tournament which will be played in 12 countries across the continent.

All sport in Italy has been suspended until April 3 with the nation’s 60 million inhabitants in lock-down to avoid the spread of the virus which has killed 1,809 and infected over 24,000.

“The fact is that the problems we are having now other nations will have shortly,” continued the former Manchester City and Inter Milan coach.

“First of all we need to protect people’s health, we have to wait for the peak, then when this situation begins to ease off we could start talking and decide everything later.

“When we return to our normal life, to football, we will be happier, we’ll find freedom, be able to go back to matches at the stadium, have fun,” added the 55-year-old.

“These dramatic situations can make you become better. I hope so.”

Italy won all 10 of their Euro 2020 qualifying matches as they roared back under Mancini’s guidance having failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.

They approach Euro 2020 searching for just their second European title after winning in 1968.

Meanwhile, Italy’s football federation says they will ask for Euro 2020 to be postponed over the coronavirus outbreak so they can complete the Serie A season.

“We will propose to UEFA the delay of the European Championships,” Gabriele Gravina, president of the Italian Football Federation told the SportMediaset television channel.

“We will try to get to the end of this [domestic] championship because it is fairer and more correct after the many investments and sacrifices of our clubs.” – AFP

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