The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) president Aleksander Ceferin remains optimistic about the fate Euro 2020 finals and their plans to allow fans in stadiums across Europe next June. However, he admits several scenarios are being explored due to the coronavirus pandemic. Held every four years, Euro is considered the most popular football tournament in terms of international prestige.
“For the moment, we are planning the Euro exactly as we want it to be,” Ceferin told German broadcaster when asked about fans attending games at 12 host stadiums despite the spike of Covid-19 positive test cases across Europe. “Of course, I would have told you in February that the Euro would take place as normal with full stadiums this summer, but everything changed within a month.”
“If you had asked me in February if I was prepared for a pandemic that would stop the world, I would have said you were crazy,” Ceferin added. “But now we’re well prepared. We’re smarter and stronger than last year as we now know that anything can happen.” He also said the tournament could be slimmed down from 12 host venues.
Ceferin admitted the idea of a Euro spread out in stadiums across the continent is “symbolically a nice thing, but not an easy task for us, even regardless of the pandemic.” Brainchild of Ceferin’s predecessor Michel Platini, UEFA have allocated fixtures in 13 cities across Europe in 2014. However, Brussels later withdrawn their staging over lack of support from the local government.
The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup were initially scheduled to be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), St. Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
Earlier, the European Championship governing body remains in contact with the twelve venues it had chosen to host Euro 2020 next summer to make sure that it will be possible to play in those cities with the same schedule following the postponement of the tournament for national teams due to the coronavirus. The venues for the said competition to be staged next year confirmed to be the same.
Last month, UEFA successfully initiated a pilot test on allowing fans in the stadiums in their first national team event since it was prohibited, with around 15,500 fans watched the match between Champions League and Europa League winners in the Super Cup, won by Bayern. The Euro 2020 will now take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021.