Italy approves fans for Euro 2020 following green light from government
The Italian football federation (FIGC) announced that Euro 2020 hosting in Rome will be held in Stadio Olimpico with fans of “at least 25%” of its 72,000 seats, local news agency confirms. In a letter that has been sent by the Minister for Sport and passed on to the FIGC for UEFA approval, the Italian government has given the green light to host the event with at least 18,000 people inside the stadium.
“Italy and Rome are there! The ok from the government to fans attending the Euro 2020 matches in Rome is splendid news which I will immediately send to UEFA,” FIGC president Gabriele Gravina said in a statement after receiving a letter from Sports Minister Valentina Vezzali regarding the government’s decision. Rome is set to host the opening match of the euro football, between Turkey and Italy.
Earlier, concerns regarding the CTS (technical scientific committee) unwillingness to commit to 25 per cent capacity put the hosting in jeopardy. “The message the government is sending to the country is one of great confidence and extraordinary vision,” Gravina added. “Italy is showing it has courage, the same Italy which is fighting against the pandemic and at the same time working to restart securely.”
However, the technical details of how they will manage to hold the games and the protocol are not yet clear, nor are they even close to being decided yet. Meanwhile, Lega Serie A chief Paolo Dal Pino asks the government, shortly after the news broke, to use Serie A “as an important testing ground for the protocol to be used at this European event.”
“We welcome the Government’s decision with great enthusiasm, as this is an important sign for the country, a boost of confidence and of a return to the normality that we hope can soon include all of our games,” said Dal Pino. “We hope that there can be fans allowed in the stadium from the next few games, at least 1,000 spectators, the numbers we had to open the season.”
It is learnt that four nations, including Rome, remain undecided on the fate of spectators for the event as surge in coronavirus infections has been reported. The UEFA have these remaining host cities until April 19 to come up with further details of their plans. Munich, Bilbao and Dublin were yet to give European football’s governing body the assurance of fans for the event.
In March, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin made it clear that he did not want Euro 2020 fixtures to take place “in front of empty stands”. UEFA asked the host nations until April 7 to come up with plans for the event, seeking an average of 50% attendance during the pan-European event. The most glorious 24-team tournament will take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021.
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