According to various reports, a statement published by the regional authorities confirmed that Bilbao’s San Mames stadium has been dropped as a host city for UEFA Euro 2020 this summer. Bilbao was supposed to be one of 12 cities across Europe scheduled to host Spain’s matches in Group E against Poland, Sweden and Slovakia. It would also host a round-of-16 match.
It is learnt that nine of the 12 host cities have already given assurances over a minimum capacity for crowds. However, three venues, including Bilbao, remain doubtful in hosting the euro league final with fans. Reports claim that the city’s local organizers threatened to sue the European soccer body over its “unilateral” decision to drop Bilbao as a host.
The RFEF reacted to UEFA’s conditions, which it said would be “impossible to comply with”. They included 60 percent of the region’s population being vaccinated before June 14. In the statement, the Basque organisers expressed anger at the decision. “Euro 2020 will not be played in Bilbao. But we are not going to allow them to play games with Bilbao and the Basque institutions,” it read.
“We have not found a single reason, sporting, social or economic, and certainly not related to public health and measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in any of the UEFA communications,” the statement added. “The contract that unites us with UEFA and with the RFEF and the official communication of UEFA is already in the hands of the legal services.”
“And so that the compensation of the amounts invested to date in organising the event, which amounts to more than €1.2 million, as well as the possible damages caused by said decision can be evaluated.” The organizers also published a seven-point letter saying they wouldn’t allow anyone to “damage the image” of Bilbao, which had been preparing for the tournament for more than six years with “professionalism and responsibility.”
Bibao is the the tenth-biggest city in Spain, and the largest in the Basque region that offers rich culture and arts. San Mamés stadium was inaugurated in 2013 and currently the home of La Liga side, Athletic Bilbao.Earlier, the president of the Spanish Football Federation Luis Rubialesm has said he will do “everything humanly possible” to ensure Spain keeps its four scheduled Euro games.
If UEFA decide that Bilbao, in the Basque Country, cannot host matches, Rubiales has suggested Seville could be an alternative option. European football’s governing body is due to take a final decision on Friday. The most glorious 24-team tournament will take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021.
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