Stadiums across Europe have been mostly empty this season, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic carry into 2021. However, UEFA bosses seem to be holding firm that Euro 2020 will take place this summer in twelve countries with fans in the stadium — even with the immense amount of uncertainty that still exists in Europe surrounding the spread of the virus.
UEFA’s president, Aleksander Ceferin, was recently quoted taking a firm stand on this, “We have several scenarios, but the one guarantee we can make is that the option of playing any Euro 2020 match in an empty stadium is off the table. Every host must guarantee there will be fans at their games.”
However, a statement from UEFA contradicts their president’s quote. “No city would automatically drop out if they were to come back with a behind closed doors scenario. But we would nevertheless need to consider whether it would make sense to play without fans, or whether such matches should be reallocated to other venues” The twelve host cities have until April 7 to submit their final plans for how many spectators will be allowed. Final decisions will be made at the UEFA Congress on April 20.
Germany is slated to host four matches at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena. Munich’s mayor, Dieter Reiter, has said, “It is simply not possible at this point in time to make a statement about whether or not the coronavirus pandemic will allow spectators in June, or not.” However, Germany has no “plan B” and are sticking to their plans to play in Munich.
One plan that has gotten a lot of media attention is to have the tournament played in the UK in its entirety. “We are hosting the Euros. We are hosting the semis and the final,” said Prime Minister Boris Johnson. “If they want any other matches hosted, we’re certainly on for that, but at the moment that’s where we are with UEFA.”
Despite the variance of infection rates and travel restrictions throughout the host cities, Ceferin is holding firm to the grand plan of the Euros being played across Europe — a celebration of the 60th anniversary of the completion. Said Ceferin, “The ideal scenario is to play the tournament in the original 12 venues, but if that is not possible then it will go ahead in either 10 or 11 countries if one or more of the venues cannot meet the required conditions.”