Euro 2020 host cities may upscale plans for fans if pandemic conditions improve

Jim van Wijk, PA
·4-min read

UEFA will allow host cities to upscale plans for supporters to attend Euro 2020 matches should conditions around the coronavirus pandemic improve, the PA news agency understands.

The European governing body has asked for the 12 host cities – including Glasgow, Dublin and London – for their proposals on how many fans they expect to be able to accommodate by Wednesday.

The UK Government has announced plans for a number of test events – including a 21,000 crowd for the FA Cup final on May 15 – with a view to having Wembley full for at least some European Championship games.

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Wembley will see England open their Group D campaign against Croatia on June 13, before then welcoming Scotland on June 18 followed by the Czech Republic.

The national stadium is also set to host one last-16 game as well as both the semi-finals and then final on July 11.

On Tuesday, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was optimistic there would be a “reasonably good number” of supporters at Hampden for matches against the Czechs on June 14 and then Croatia eight days later.

Dublin, meanwhile, has three Group E games, involving Poland, Slovakia and Sweden, as well one of the ties in the knock-out stage.

The Aviva Stadium in Dublin is due to host four Euro 2020 matches
The Aviva Stadium in Dublin is currently set to host four Euro 2020 matches (Brian Lawless/PA)

The deadline for submissions is April 7.

There is some uncertainty, though, as to whether the Aviva Stadium will be in a position to welcome supporters due to travel restrictions and limits on mass gatherings.

An Irish Government spokesman said assurances on minimum spectator levels could not be currently provided given the state of the pandemic.

The Italian Football Federation, however, said it had been told by the government that Rome’s Stadio Olimpico would be able to welcome spectators for Euro 2020.

A groundsman cuts the grass at the Olympic Stadium, Rome.
Officials are confident Rome’s Stadio Olimpico will welcome fans for Euro 2020 games (Rebecca Naden/PA)

Following the submissions, a meeting will be held on Thursday of the EURO Steering Group, which consists of the 12 national associations and UEFA.

PA understands once hosts have submitted the scenarios, they will be allowed to come back to UEFA before April 28 with an increased view on how many supporters they could accommodate.

The governing body is understood not to be pushing the deadline back as such, but rather allowing venues to upscale if conditions around the coronavirus pandemic get better in the coming weeks.

Ahead of Wednesday’s deadline, it was confirmed the Johan Cruyff ArenA in Amsterdam would see at least 12,000 supporters attend under current proposals.

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The Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) said this was based “on the assumption that at least 25 per cent of the stadium’s net capacity will be feasible”.

The KNVB added that all fans wanting to attend would “have to comply with the security protocols in place at the time and will only be granted access after presenting a negative test result”.

Plans are also in place to see what increases to capacity might be feasible at later stages.

Amsterdam is set to host Group C games between Holland and Ukraine on June 13, as well as when the Dutch play Austria and North Macedonia, with a round-of-16 tie also scheduled on June 26.

“It is great that we are on track for a European Championship with fans in the stadium,” Amsterdam’s Euro 2020 tournament director Gijs De Jong said on www.knvb.com.

“It is fantastic that the Minister (of Health, Welfare and Sport) and the Mayor of Amsterdam are confident that a European Championship can be staged with fans in June in a safe, responsible and festive manner.

“We look forward to welcoming 12,000 spectators to the Johan Cruyff ArenA, but we are aware that the coronavirus is unpredictable and there are no guarantees.

“However, we remain hopeful that, come June, the situation will have improved to the point where we can allow even more spectators to attend.”

Elsewhere, at least 11,000 supporters are expected to be able to attend the four Euro 2020 games in the Danish capital Copenhagen.

There could also be up to 50 per cent capacity at matches in St Petersburg, Russia which will host one of the quarter-finals as well as group matches.