Uefa deny plans to pull Dublin and two other cities as hosts for Euro 2020
‘No other plans being pursued’ say tournament organisers over attendance at matches
Lansdowne Road is due to host four Euro 2020 ties this summer. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Uefa has denied that it is considering pulling Euro2020 games from three host cities, including Dublin, because of the ongoing uncertainty over whether significant numbers of people will be allowed attend the matches.
In a report on Wednesday the Associated Press news agency cited unnamed sources at the federation “with knowledge of the tournament planning” as suggesting that Uefa wants stadiums to be at least half full for the games, something that seems extremely unlikely in the case of Lansdowne Road.
It said that Glasgow and Bilbao are also at risk of losing their matches with England one of the countries likely to host some of those that have to be relocated.
FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill hinted last Friday that Uefa might, in a worst case scenario, move Dublin’s four games but expressed confidence that the situation would not arise as the Government will, he believes, allow some supporters to attend the three group and one round of 16 games.
“To to be absolutely clear, we are committed to the hosting of our four games and we will have fans in the stadium . . . it’s just a question of how many,” he said.
Uefa has given the various associations until April 7th to provide final estimates of what restrictions would apply at the games scheduled to be held in their jurisdictions.
A major complication, though, is the strong preference of Uefa’s part to have a significant number of fans from the two countries involved in a given game inside the stadium, something that effectively requires international travel without the need for a prolonged period of isolation or quarantine to be permitted.
Despite this, Uefa told The Irish Times that it is “committed to holding Euro 2020 across 12 European cities, according to the schedule agreed last summer. There are no other plans being pursued.”
In a statement, the FAI said that: “The public health advice is that it is too early to say how and when these restrictions should be eased given current uncertainties. We are in constant dialogue with Uefa and our intention is to work to finalise our best possible scenario consistent with public health guidelines.”