Euros hosts given fans deadline as Dublin and Glasgow ‘risk being cut’


ost cities have until April 7 to submit their plans to Uefa about how they intend to stage fans at this summer’s rescheduled Euro 2020, amid fears Bilbao, Dublin and Glasgow risk being cut.

This summer’s tournament, which was meant to take place last year but had to be shifted 12 months due to the Covid-19 pandemic, is due to be hosted by 12 countries.

Uefa insist that remains the current plan and their stance has not changed from January, when their president Aleksander Ceferin spoke on the record about the matter.

This week, however, doubts have been raised about certain cities keeping their host status – with Bilbao, Dublin and Glasgow those reported to be at risk of being cut.

Both the BBC and Associated Press have reported that Dublin and Glasgow risk being dropped over the lack of guarantees about the number of fans that could be allowed into stadiums by June. The Associated Press also reported Bilbao was at risk of being cut too.

Uefa insist the current plan is for this summer’s tournament to take place over 12 countries, but host cities have until April 7 to submit their likely scenarios for staging games with fans.

For London, and games at Wembley Stadium, the outlook looks promising as the Government has said up to 10,000 spectators will be permitted inside grounds from the middle of May, and unlimited numbers from June 21.

In Ireland and Scotland, however, there is uncertainty. Dublin’s Aviva Stadium is set to stage four fixtures, but government restrictions on spectators will remain in place until at least April 5.

Hampden Park in Glasgow.

/ Getty Images

“Uefa wants to see fans in all 12 of the stadia and all 12 of the cities and we are planning on the basis that we will have fans in the Aviva Stadium. That is the current situation and that is the plan,” said the Football Association of Ireland’s chief executive Jonathan Hill last weekend.

“It’s fair to say Uefa are pushing forward because of the timetables involved. They have real people who bought real tickets for matches and who bought transport and hotels.

“At some point they need to take decisions in relation to the structure of the tournament. What they would like to see, as we all would, is as many people as possible in the grounds to watch the Euro finals play out.”

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Throughout the pandemic, Scotland has also enforced strict protocols related to stopping the spread of Covid-19 and it is uncertain if fans would be allowed in for the Euros.

“We’ll see whether or not it’s possible at any point along that road for fans to actually be present to witness (the Euros),” Scottish Health Secretary Jeane Freeman is quoted as saying by AP on Wednesday.

AP also report that Bilbao, who are due to host four games like Dublin and Glasgow, is yet to give Uefa any assurances about hosting fans this summer.

They, along with Dublin and Glasgow, will have until April 7 to submit their plans to Uefa – whose stance remains that of January when they confirmed they want the Euros to happen over 12 countries.

San Mames in Bilbao.

/ Getty Images

“Uefa is committed to holding EURO 2020 in the 12 cities originally planned. The EURO is the flagship competition for national team football in Europe and is a vital source of funding for grassroots and wider football development,” said Čeferin then.

“I am optimistic that things are highly likely to be very different with regard to the virus as we move closer to the tournament and it is important that we give the host cities and governments as much time as we can to formulate an accurate picture of what will be possible come June and July.

“Fans are such a big part of what makes football special and that is true of the EURO as much as it is of any game. We must allow ourselves the maximum space to allow their return to the stadiums.”

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