It is an important week for this summer’s European Championship, with the host countries presenting their plans to UEFA so fans can enter the stadiums.
Despite the ongoing pandemic and the rise in infections in several European countries that have led to renewed blockades, the countries hosting the euros expect as many fans as possible in their stadiums.
What is the current situation? Which countries do supporters anticipate? And how many? Sky Sports News chief reporter Bryan Swanson answers key questions …
Which countries have plans for fans?
There are 12 host cities and each association has been asked to inform UEFA no later than Wednesday 7 April of its intentions for the minimum number of fans at each stadium this summer. Some associations may ask for more time to do this, but time is running out.
Nine of the host countries compete in the competition; Netherlands, Spain, Hungary, Denmark, Scotland, England, Germany, Italy and Russia. But only Denmark, Russia and Italy have revealed the details of their plans; have between thirty and fifty percent capacity.
The Italian government confirmed on Tuesday that fans will be present and Sky in Italy are reporting that the Italian FA gave UEFA assurances about the safe welcome of at least 25% of the 72,600 capacity of the Stadio Olimpico.
What about England?
Wembley Stadium will host seven matches, including the semi-finals and final, and the FA is encouraged that the government has given its approval to the test events with thousands of spectators previously in an FA Cup semi-final on 18 ‘April, the Carabao Cup final on April 25 and FA Cup final on May 15.
Three host countries were unable to qualify for Euro 2020 (Azerbaijan, Romania and the Republic of Ireland) and Dublin appears to be the most vulnerable at this stage.
UEFA senior officials, members of its executive committee, have expressed their intention to vote through all decisions prior to the UEFA Congress on 20 April.
What has the Irish government said?
They are not in a position to give a minimum number of fans at Aviva Stadium in June.
Dublin is expected to host four matches (with Sweden, Slovakia and Poland) and a round of 16 match that will include the group’s winners with England and Scotland.
But a statement from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media a Sky Sports News on 6 April he said: “At last Tuesday’s meeting, the government noted that due to the pandemic, it is not in a position to provide guarantees on the minimum levels of spectators in UEFA 2020 matches that will be held in Dublin in June.
“The government also noted that officials will keep the matter under review and will continue to work with UEFA in conducting the matches, pointing out Ireland’s track record in the last year in conducting field sports for big spectators. in the areas of football, GAA and rugby “.
Does Scotland look more positive?
Yes, there have been more positive noises from the Scottish government in recent weeks.
Like Dublin, Glasgow will host three group matches and one round of 16 match.
Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told Sky Sports News that she is “hopeful” that fans will attend matches in Hampden Park this summer.
Speaking to the press on Tuesday, Sturgeon added that she was “desperate” for matches to be played in Scotland and said she was “optimistic” that games would be played with “a reasonably good number of spectators in Hampden”.
What do UEFA say?
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said there must be fans in every match and it is not an option that any match can be played behind closed doors.
UEFA is expected to provide clarity by the end of this week, no later than Friday, and Sky Sports News it has been said that no association has told them that they cannot host any supporters.
But the biggest problem is the variation in numbers, it is said that some associations can only offer around 10 percent of the capacity of the stadiums and whether the lower figures will make the staging of these games financially viable.
UEFA has not publicly revealed the minimum number of fans it expects in each match, but officials at its Swiss headquarters have not discussed a figure of at least 25%.
UEFA wants as many fans as possible in its exhibition tournament, as long as it is safe.
Can anyone offer guarantees?
No, and here lies the problem.
UEFA is doing its best to plan a competition that is already very much interrupted, but the global pandemic has been unpredictable and has affected each country in different ways.
There will be a “plan B” to respond to unforeseen and late cancellations caused by a further increase in coronavirus cases on the eve of the games, but no one has released their contingency plans.
There are still uncertain times, but by the end of this week, we should be much clearer on how this summer’s competition will be supported.