Bilbao’s San Mamés, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium and Hampden Park in Glasgow are at risk of being cut from the list of hosts for the pandemic-delayed Euro 2020 due to lack of capacity guarantees. With less than 100 days until the delayed euro league final, UEFA gave host cities until April 7 to come up with their plans, including the return of fans in stadiums for the tournament.
However, the Scottish and Irish governments remain doubtful onwhether fans will be allowed back by June. Both Hampden Park and the Aviva Stadium are due to stage four games. According to a source from a new agency, the position on fans in Dublin and Glasgow is currently “very bad”, with the respective governments “taking a much tighter approach to Covid than other cities”.
With an all-seated capacity of more than 50,000, the Dublin Arena has been home to the Republic of Ireland’s football and rugby union teams since opening in 2010. Last week, the Football Association of Ireland said it was still planning for fans to be present in Dublin. They revealed that it would only remain a host venue if it could guarantee spectators would be permitted.
The Hampden Stadium, on the other hand, staged the first ever international football game: Scotland 0-0 England, 1872. Hampden was the biggest stadium in the world when it was opened, with a capacity in excess of 100,000. The Scottish FA says it will “remain in constant dialogue” with UEFA as Scotland looks forward to a first major men’s tournament for 23 years.
Meanwhile, UEFA is also in contact with Spain’s Basque Country but has yet to receive assurances about fans attending matches in Bilbao. 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.
“With three months to go, we must be cautious,” the Basque government told a news agency. “But we will continue to work with UEFA and other venues to see if European Championship matches can be held with fans what the capacity limits will be and under what conditions.” The situation has left UEFA assessing moving Bilbao’s games elsewhere in Spain.
Initially, Munich, Rome, St Petersburg and Baku will host quarter-finals as well as group-stage clashes, while Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Glasgow and Budapest are the other venues, staging group-stage and last-16 encounters.The most glorious 24-team tournament will now take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021.
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