At first there could be good. Then there could not.
On the day when the European Championship host countries had to come up with their spectator plans for the final round of the summer, confusion has arisen in Spanish Bilbao. First, it was announced on Wednesday from the local authorities that a quarter of the stadium San Mamés can be used for the European Championships, so that around 13,000 spectators can be present. But on Wednesday night, a completely opposite message came from the Spanish Football Association (RFEF). European Championship matches with spectators can not be held in the Basque city, according to RFEF according to Reuters.
According to the association, it is not possible to reach the goals that allow spectators to be present before the tournament starts on June 11th. Among other things, they imply an incidence rate of a maximum of 40 corona infected per 100,000 inhabitants. On Wednesday, it was 351 in the region.
“Yesterday (Tuesday, ed.) We received the demands from the Basque authorities, and already at first glance one could see that it will be impossible for the federation (RFEF, ed.) To accept, it reads in a statement.
If Denmark wins its group, the plan is for the team to play the round of 16 in Bilbao.
Announcement April 20
The European Football Association (UEFA) had given the 12 European Championship host countries until Wednesday to come up with their spectator plans. Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin has previously said that they do not want European Championship matches to be played behind closed doors.
Thus, Bilbao’s European Championship co-hosting may be in jeopardy. Dublin can do the same. The Irish Football Association announced earlier on Wednesday that it is currently not possible to guarantee that spectators can be admitted to Aviva Stadium for this summer’s finals.
Several of the other European Championship host countries have come up with more or less concrete plans to admit spectators to the matches. In Denmark, Minister of Culture Joy Mogensen (S) has said that there could be at least 11,000-12,000 spectators present in the Park. However, Uefa is hoping for twice as many.
»Given the way Denmark has handled the pandemic and the good test strategy that has been put in place, we feel we have a justified belief that at least 18,000-20,000 spectators are allowed. After all, there are more than two months until the first match. We even have a hope of a coverage rate of 60. That is around 24,000 spectators, “Martin Kallen, UEFA’s CEO of EURO 2020, told TV3 Sport earlier this week.
Uefa is expected to make a final decision regarding the host cities on April 20. Here is an overview of what the individual host cities have announced in relation to the possibility of spectators for the European Championship finals, which will take place 11 June-11. July.
- The English Football Association (FA) will begin spectator trials at Wembley later in April in connection with the decisive matches in the League Cup and FA Cup. It has been announced that they expect to be able to admit spectators to the European Championship matches, and that there is even a dream that Wembley – where the European Championship final will be played – can be completely filled. Initially, the goal was to be a half-filled Wembley.
- The Italian authorities have said that a hitherto unknown number of spectators can be admitted to the matches at this summer’s European Championship, which will be played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, including the opening match between Italy and Turkey on Friday 11 June.
- While there has been no announcement regarding the European Championships, the Dutch plan to admit a limited number of spectators to football matches from the end of April. It comes after a spectator attempt at the national arena recently, where 5,000 people were present when the Netherlands met Latvia in the World Cup qualifiers.
- The local authorities in Munich announced on Tuesday that they are working on different scenarios regarding spectators and that it is “certainly possible and desirable that there can be spectators present at the stadium” at the European Championships. On Wednesday, the Prime Minister of the state of Bavaria, Markus Söder, said that he could not imagine being able to handle a “large number” without it being clarified.
- On Tuesday, Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon expressed optimism about the prospect of spectators at Hampden Park during the European Championships. According to the news agency dpa, a green light has been given so that 25 percent of the stadium can be used. That equates to about 12,000.
- The Irish Football Association (FAI) announced on Wednesday to Uefa that at the moment there can be no guarantee that spectators can be present at Aviva Stadium during the European Championships.
- The Russian organizers of the European Championships have guaranteed that Krestovsky Stadium can be filled at least half full, which is equivalent to 33,000-34,000 spectators.
- The Hungarians have not yet officially announced, but are expected to let spectators in. Last September, the newly built Puskas Arena, where the European Championship matches are to be played, laid the groundwork when the Super Cup match between Bayern Munich and Sevilla was played with approximately 25 percent filled stands.