Munich retains Euro 2020 matches; Dublin, Bilbao dropped

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has announced that Munich will remain the host of three Euro 2020 football matches and a quarterfinal following the assurance of fans in the games that the European football governing body received from the host city. Meanwhile, Bilbao and Dublin were dropped because they could not guarantee the presence of fans at the stadiums.

Munich authorities have pledged to allow 14,500 fans to attend matches at the 70,000-seat Allianz Arena. Home of Bundesliga giants Bayern München, Allianz Arena is slated to host four matches between June 15 and July 2, including Germany’s three group games featuring defending World Cup champions France, defending European champions Portugal, and Hungary.

“The health and protection of people is our highest priority. However, the Euro games in Munich this summer should help us to look forward to a time after the pandemic,” said former Germany captain Philipp Lahm, the managing director of the local organizing committee. Meanwhile, Dublin and Bilbao, both lost the right to hold matches.

“UEFA wishes to express its appreciation and gratitude to the cities of Bilbao and Dublin – both of which are considered as good venues to host future UEFA events – the national and regional governments of Spain and the Republic of Ireland, and all local stakeholders for their dedication, professionalism and efforts over the past years,” UEFA said in a statement.

Following discussions with the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), the three Group E matches and a round-of-16 clash which were initially scheduled in Bilbao will be moved to Estadio La Cartuja in Seville, who promised attendance at 30% capacity, while the other three Group E matches originally held in Dublin will be moved to St Petersburg.

Wembley in London will host a round-of-16 match initially placed in Dublin. “We have been working diligently with the host associations and local authorities to ensure a safe and festive environment at the games and I am really pleased that we are able to welcome spectators at all matches for a celebration of national team football across the continent,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said.

UEFA also expressed its thanks to the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for its work as an initial host. The most glorious 24-team tournament will take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021 at the 11 confirmed hosts:  London, Munich, Rome, Baku, Saint Petersburg, Budapest, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Seville, Glasgow and Copenhagen.

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