The Dublin and Bilbao games at Euro 2020 are in doubt as UEFA extends the deadline for fans

Euro 2020 matches in Dublin and Bilbao are in question after Irish and Spanish football bosses said on Wednesday that they were unable to provide assurances about the presence of spectators, as UEFA extended the deadline for host cities to submit estimates of the number of fans until April 28.

Dublin was one of 12 cities that originally submitted their plans to admit fans to the governing body of European football for the postponed tournament, which runs from June 11 to July 11, by Wednesday.

The Aviva Stadium in the capital of Ireland is planned to host three group matches and matches in the last 16, but doubts are growing about the issue of fan attendance.

UEFA President Alexander Ceferin warned that countries that do not provide guarantees for the number of fans could be rejected as hosts.

“The Football Association of Ireland, on the advice and guidance of the government, informed UEFA today that due to the Covid-19 pandemic it is currently unable to provide assurances about the minimum level of spectators at UEFA’s Euro 2020 matches to be held in Dublin in June, “the FAI said in a statement.

Ireland is in its third coronavirus stop since late December, but will take the first test step towards abolishing the curb on Monday.

The government has announced that easing of restrictions will be slowed for several months after a hasty reopening in late 2020 contributed to an increase in cases.

The Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said it would be “impossible” to accept fans for matches at the San Mames Stadium in Bilbao based on the Covid-19 restrictions imposed by the Basque region.

“Requiring 60% of the population to be vaccinated in the Basque Country and the rest of Spain before 14 June, or data not exceeding 2% of the beds (intensive care) in which Covid stays until the date of the matches, they are impossible to meet targets and will result in absence the public, “RFEF said in a statement.

Spanish media reported that Bilbao plans to receive up to 13,000 fans on the field of 53,000, due to hosting Spain’s group matches against Sweden, Poland and Slovakia and the match of the eighth finals, if health conditions are met.

– Dutch on board –

Earlier on Wednesday, the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) announced it hoped to have “at least 12,000 fans” in the four matches Amsterdam hosts for the Euro.

Johan Cruyff Arena will host the Dutch group matches against Ukraine, Austria, northern Macedonia and the round of 16 match.

The KNVB said in a statement that the scenario it handed over to UEFA was based on a “realistic” assumption that it would be able to meet at least 25 percent of the stadium’s capacity with 55,000 seats.

He hopes that “depending on the development of the Covid-19 pandemic, there may be a chance to accommodate more fans.”

The KNVB added that spectators wishing to attend the matches in Amsterdam would have to adhere to safety protocols in force in June and present a negative Covid test result, but warned that the number of allowed fans could be reduced “if the pandemic worsens in June”. “.

The director of the tournament in Amsterdam, Gijs de Jong, said that “there were no guarantees yet”, adding that he received the green light from the Dutch Ministry of the Interior and the Amsterdam City Hall for the implementation of the 12,000-seat scenario.

– Italy opening its doors –

On Tuesday, the head of the Italian Football Federation, Gabriele Gravina, said the Italian government had given the green light to fans to attend the Euro matches scheduled for Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, including the opening of the tournament.

The German FA said it had called on the health authorities in Munich to allow spectators to be admitted to matches at the Allianz Arena.

The school’s national clinical director said last week that he was confident Hampden Park in Glasgow would be able to receive fans at four Euro 2020 matches in June.

Matches are also scheduled for the Olympic Stadium in Baku, the National Stadium in Bucharest, the Puskas Arena in Budapest, the Parken Stadium in Copenhagen, the Krestovsky Stadium in St. Petersburg and the Wembley Stadium in London, which will host the finals.

jw / gj / td / mw / jc