All 12 host cities at Euro 2020 have informed UEFA that they will welcome at least some fans to the tournament in the summer ahead of a deadline to confirm the numbers this week.
Cities had been warned by UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin that they would lose their matches if they could not confirm that supporters will be in attendance by the April 7 deadline.
However, all venues are expected to confirm the turnout of supporters when they submit their entries on Wednesday, albeit with an offer to house only 10% of the total capacity of their stadiums.
The Aviva Stadium in Dublin could still miss Euro 2020 matches due to fears of fans present
“We have different scenarios, but the only guarantee we can give is that the ability to play every Euro 2020 match in an empty stadium is off the table,” Ceferin said last month.
“Every host must guarantee that there will be fans for their games.”
Commitments of only 10% capacity may not be enough to satisfy Ceferin and UEFA.
A report in the Irish Times last week suggested that the Irish government has been warned that a 25% capacity threshold may be required to maintain the four fixtures.
And a spokesperson for the Department of Sport in Ireland told the Irish Sun that “the government … is currently unable to provide guarantees on the minimum number of spectators.”
The postponed Euro 2020 tournament will be held in 12 cities in 12 different countries
Dublin is still considered the shakiest host cities.
The European governing body had hoped to be able to make a decision by the end of the week on which of the 12 sites to keep.
But UEFA is now bracing for further delays in deciding whether to drop cities from the tournament as it and governments across the continent grapple with the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is expected to run by city.
The government’s roadmap to end the lockdown has created the likelihood of large crowds at Wembley
The issue is expected to be resolved by April 20, when the UEFA Congress meets and the formal decision on the host cities will be taken.
UEFA needs cities to confirm that they can house fans and then scale up the numbers as the pandemic abates, it is possible to do this. It looks like the number of fans could be increased until April 28th.
But the uncertainties – and differences between different cities – are enormous.
Although Dublin and the Irish government are very cautious, Russia is extremely confident.
There, the Euro 2020 local organizing committee said it plans to tell UEFA it will allow 50% capacity at the 68,000-seat Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg.
Britain is way ahead of its European neighbors in vaccinating the country’s population
Alexei Sorokin, head of the committee, said UEFA will allow host cities to increase planned attendance numbers to April 28.
‘If there are significant improvements [in the epidemiological situation]”We are not ruling this out,” he told Russian news agency Tass.
The Gazprom Arena has already hosted 22,500 Zenit St Petersberg fans in recent weeks.
Copenhagen has also been optimistic in their estimates and some cities, such as London, are confident of a significant turnout.
Copenhagen has committed to up to 12,000 fans at the Parken stadium, which equates to 30% of the capacity for its four matches unless there is a serious coronavirus outbreak.
The Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg is set to host major SGRs at Euro 2020
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has offered to host every Euro 2020 match this summer
Wembley, which hosts seven games, has reportedly told UEFA it hopes to accommodate 45,000 spectators – 50% of its 90,000 capacity – for the semifinals and final.
In addition to Ireland, there were concerns about Glasgow, Bilbao and Baku, but all those cities now seem more committed to moving on with fans.
The commitment to at least some fans offers the possibility that the numbers could soar if final host city decisions are delayed for a few more weeks.
“There are a lot of people who are trying their best and trying to make difficult decisions,” said a source involved in the discussions. ‘Things are so fluid. If they ask the last question now, they might get a lower number, so they want to make decisions as late as possible. And they think they will get something firmer in the next two weeks. ‘
Delays cannot be indefinite as decisions have to be made about the allocation of tickets.
Managing a tournament in 12 countries, with different levels of Covid infection and vaccination coverage, different regulations and restrictions, and different levels of public support is extraordinarily complex.
The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium would be an ideal location to host additional Euro 2020 matches
But in regards to tickets, UEFA is helped by the fact that huge numbers have been sold, so instead of releasing new ones, it’s probably a matter of paying back existing ticket holders.
If Ireland cannot meet UEFA’s requirements, it is widely expected that those matches will be played at the Aviva Stadium – with Sweden, Slovakia and Poland as well as a second round match – in England, using state-of-the-art technology. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium a possible location.
Shifting the matches would be a logistical challenge, as the teams would have to be safely housed in hotels and training facilities and the tickets reallocated.