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UEFA cancels 2020/21 Youth League

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After delaying the start of this year’s competition for months, UEFA have decided to pull the plug.

UEFA Youth League 2020/21 Round of 64 Draw Photo by Harold Cunningham - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

UEFA announced this week that they were cancelling the 2020/2021 UEFA Youth League (U-19s). The competition, modeled after the UEFA Champions League, had been postponed for months before the governing body decided to just outright cancel the event due to COVID-19 and the struggles in organizing a youth tournament throughout the various countries of Europe.

The UEFA Executive Committee stressed that there is no possibility to further postpone the start of the competition and that the health and safety of youth players must be given highest possible priority.

This year’s tournament had been dramatically restructured from it’s normal format that basically follows the structure of the Champions League. With the target start date of the first week in March, the 2020/2021 version had planned to be a straight knockout tournament with single matches played beginning with a Round of 64.

The matches involving German teams were slated to be Inter Milan vs. Bayern Munich, Atalanta vs. RB Leipzig, Juventus vs. Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Lazio, and Rangers vs. FC Köln.

Last season, Bayern were bounced by Dinamo Zagreb on penalties in the Round of 16. The tournament was eventually won by Real Madrid, 3-2 over Benfica.