— Published 8 April 2021

Bilbao and Dublin under threat

Two months before the event, the situation is getting confusing for Euro 2020 (June 11 to July 11, 2021). UEFA initially gave the 12 host cities of the tournament until Wednesday (April 7th) to present a plan to welcome the public to the stadiums. But faced with the uncertainty of the health situation in much of Europe, the continental body has decided to postpone this ultimatum until April 28th. It thus leaves additional time for local organisers to find a solution that will accommodate spectators, a requirement set by UEFA, in accordance with the health guidelines established by the authorities. But two cities now seem very threatened: Dublin and Bilbao. The Spanish Football Federation said on Wednesday (April 7th) that it considered it “impractical for there to be spectators in Bilbao due to the sanitary conditions set by the Basque government. The obligation to vaccinate 60% of the population in the Basque Country and the rest of Spain before June 14th, or a figure that does not exceed 2% of the beds occupied by COVID in intensive care for the date of the matches, are impossible to achieve and will therefore lead to the absence of an audience”. The San Mamés stadium (53 289 seats) is to host four matches: the group stage matches of Spain against Sweden (June 14), Poland (June 19) and Slovakia (June 23), then a Round of 16 match (June 27). Same case for Dublin. The Irish Football Association (FAI) has informed UEFA that due to the pandemic it is unable, at this stage, to give assurances that a minimum number of spectators will be present during the Euro match. Dublin’s Aviva Stadium is set to host three Group E matches, Poland-Slovakia on June 14, Sweden-Slovakia on June 18 and Sweden-Poland on June 23, plus a round of 16.