Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden expresses his hopes of opening sports stadiums at full capacity by next autumn. However, Dowden did not mention summer sports includingEuro 2020, Wimbledon or men’s and women’s cricket. The matches of the 2020 European Championship were initially scheduled to be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe.
“We’re very much looking forward to it as the main event of 2021. Of course we’re working very, very closely indeed with them,” Dowden said when asked by fellow Conservative MP Andy Carter about concerns over whether the rugby league World Cup would be able to take place in this country in the autumn. The rugby tournament is due to begin on October 23.
Before that, the rescheduled Euro 2020 will take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021, along with a number of major eventsin summer including Wimbledon and international men’s and women’s cricket series. Although not mention in the meeting,summer events also waits government’s signal before allowing spectators in stadiums.
UEFA has earlier said it is planning for different scenarios in all of Euro 2020’s host cities. In statement the football body said: “UEFA together with the 12 host cities is currently working on four operational scenarios for UEFA EURO 2020 (full stadium; 50-100% capacity with various mitigation measures; 20-30% capacity with various mitigation measures; and behind closed doors).”
Last month, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that spectators will be allowed to attend events in stadiums in England under tier systems when the national lockdown ends. However, following the current spike of coronavirus infection in London, the British capital was one again placed under the toughest level of restrictions, which means fans won’t be allowed to watch sports matches in stadiums.
Under the tier system, outdoors stadiums in “tier 1” areas will be permitted to hold up to 4,000 spectators, while grounds viewed to be high risk will be on “tier 2” can welcome up to 2,000 fans or half of their maximum capacity, depending on which is fewer. However, games will continue to be played behind closed doors in “tier 3”, where the tightest restrictions are in force.
Earlier this month, UEFA has provided the date for their decision to whether they will allow fans in the stadiums for the Euro 2020 matches next year. The European football governing body said in a statement that they will give the update by March 5, 2021. UEFA chief Aleksander Ceferin has earlier insisted that he’s desperate for full houses at next summer’s Finals.