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UEFA Supercup the “pilot” for letting fans back in stadiums for the Champions League

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Thirty percent of the stands at the Puskas Arena in Budapest will be occupied during the Supercup between Sevilla and Bayern Munich.

Liverpool v Chelsea: UEFA Super Cup Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo - UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said today that the governing body will be using the Supercup match between Bayern Munich and Sevilla in Budapest, Hungary, as a “pilot” for allowing portions of fans back into venues (AZ).

In a speech during the General Assembly of the European Club Association, Ceferin said, “Our next challenge is to bring the most important part of our game, the fans, back to the stadiums.” The Supercup is “a pilot test from which we can learn useful lessons about what needs to be done for the season — always keeping in mind that government protocols and decisions must be strictly followed.”

Ceferin also reflected on both the men’s and women’s Champions League and Europa League tournaments that were held in August (Sky Sports): “If this is no miracle, can I at least say I am proud of what we have achieved together. In this crazy period it took a lot of determination and belief to go ahead when everything was down and the outlook was not great, not promising at all.”

For the Supercup in Budapest, 30% of the 38,000 capacity of the Puskas Arena will be occupied. Both Bayern and Sevilla have been allocated 3,000 tickets for their supporters. Fans who travel to Hungary will be required to undergo medical exams once they arrive in the country. Additionally, all fans that want to enter the venue must have a negative coronavirus test in English and Hungarian that’s no older than 72 hours. Once inside the stadium, supporters will have their temperatures screened and will be required to wear masks and maintain social distancing protocols.

Of course, by the time the Supercup takes place on the 24th, leagues will already have resumed play. The Bundesliga has plans for allowing portions of fans in venues in certain areas of the country, so UEFA can gauge how that goes as a barometer of how smoothly it can run and what problems could potentially arise.

For UEFA, a one-off, neutral venue occasion is where a fan presence is possible at this juncture. It’s still too difficult to allow fans at home and away venues during group-stage and knockout-stage matches, for which fans would travel to different countries. UEFA has already said that they do not plan to continue single-elimination tournament style that they utilized this summer in Portugal and Germany.