Thursday, May 6, 2021

four host countries in the hot seat, asked to accept to welcome the public

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Already postponed for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Euro 2021 (ex-2020) football, which will take place from June 11 to July 11, could lose four of its twelve host cities if they do not ‘not commit by April 19 to welcome spectators.

Munich, Rome, Bilbao and Dublin have ten days “To provide additional information on their plans, and a final decision will be taken on that date regarding the holding of the matches” which were planned there, announced Friday, April 9 the UEFA. Only the other eight organizing cities have already promised to welcome the public, with gauges ranging from 25 to 100%, while the European body has refused since mid-March that the Euro is contested in front of the stands. empty.

Read also Euro 2021 football: host countries present their public reception conditions

Formulated in the midst of a health crisis, and while more contagious variants of Covid-19 are spreading, this requirement could result in the tournament being concentrated in eight countries instead of the twelve which had been preparing for it since the end of 2012. Unless the executive committee UEFA does not relax its conditions at its meeting on April 19, under penalty of losing several major European football nations by excluding Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland from the organization of the ‘Euro.

Quarantines to plan

For their part, the eight other host cities are betting on “An improvement in the health situation in their country in June and July”, linked to the vaccine campaign and the reduced circulation of Covid-19 in good weather, summarizes UEFA.

Budapest, which intends to vaccinate by mid-June all Hungarians who request it, is already targeting crowded stands, “As long as the spectators meet the strict conditions for entering the stadium”. Attending the matches could therefore require having been vaccinated, as Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban suggested on Friday, promising that all citizens “Could participate in the event with their vaccination card”. Saint Petersburg and Baku have for their part promised a 50% gauge, and should offer foreign supporters “Special procedures exempting them from entry restrictions or quarantines”, according to UEFA.

Attending games in Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Glasgow and London will be more difficult for fans of all countries, who will not benefit “No exemption” and could therefore undergo periods of isolation, warns the European body. The Dutch, Romanian and Danish capitals are considering “25 to 33%” spectators, but allow themselves the possibility “To increase their capacities by the end of the month”, UEFA having given them until April 28 to adjust their plans. London, particularly awaited since it hosts seven meetings, plans “At least 25%” audience for the three group matches, hoping for a “Higher capacity” for the semi-finals and the final.

Possible draw for spectators

UEFA has given fans until April 22 to be fully reimbursed for their tickets, promising “Special arrangements” in the event of relocation or a meeting finally scheduled behind closed doors. But even after this date, having bought a seat does not guarantee that you will benefit from it: if the number of tickets in circulation still exceeds the programmed capacity of the stadiums, UEFA “Will organize a draw” and will inform ” in May “ the unfortunate holders of canceled tickets.

In a separate statement, the body promised a series of measures to “Protect the health of spectators in each stadium”, ranging from a spread of arrivals to the massive availability of hydroalcoholic gel or contactless transactions. It will remain for the cities to organize the reception, accommodation and catering of supporters outside sports arenas, while football tournaments are usually the occasion for gatherings as massive as they are joyful.

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The World with AFP

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