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Euro 2020: British bid to stage all of Euro 2020 boosted by return of 10,000 fans to Wembley

British efforts to stage the entirety of this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament have been boosted by news that large venues such as Wembley will be permitted to host 10,000 fans from May 17.

As announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in the Commons on Monday afternoon, spectators will be allowed back into sporting events from the middle of May as the Government gradually rolls back Covid-19 restrictions.

From May 17, indoor venues will be allowed to admit up to a maximum of 1,000 spectators, or half their capacity if that figure is lower.

Britain's offer to stage more matches at this summer's Euro 2020 tournament have received a boost by news large venues such as Wembley (pictured) will be permitted 10,000 spectators at events from May 17

Britain’s offer to stage more matches at this summer’s Euro 2020 tournament have received a boost by news large venues such as Wembley (pictured) will be permitted 10,000 spectators at events from May 17  

Wembley is set to stage England's group matches, both semi-finals and the final of Euro 2020

Wembley is set to stage England's group matches, both semi-finals and the final of Euro 2020

Wembley is set to stage England’s group matches, both semi-finals and the final of Euro 2020 

For outdoor events, there will be a maximum of 4,000 fans allowed, or half a venue’s capacity (whichever figure is lower).

However, at the biggest stadiums, such as Wembley, a maximum of 10,000 fans will be allowed, or a quarter of capacity (whichever figure is lower).

It is still not clear which stadiums qualify as these ‘biggest’ venues, so it remains to be seen whether Test matches and Wimbledon, among others, will be allowed up to 10,000 fans or just 4,000.

If Covid cases continue to fall, it is possible all restrictions on crowds could be abolished on June 21 under Stage Four of the Government’s plans, raising the possibility the knockout games could be played in front of larger Wembley crowds.

Wembley is set to stage England’s group stage matches, a last-16 tie, both semi-finals and the final of this summer’s European Championship, which is currently scheduled to be played in 12 cities around Europe.

At the weekend, it was reported that culture secretary Oliver Dowden told UEFA that progress on vaccinations in the UK means crowds will be back inside stadiums before much of Europe.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the largest stadiums, such as Wembley, will be permitted 10,000 spectators inside or a quarter of capacity (whichever is lower)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the largest stadiums, such as Wembley, will be permitted 10,000 spectators inside or a quarter of capacity (whichever is lower)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the largest stadiums, such as Wembley, will be permitted 10,000 spectators inside or a quarter of capacity (whichever is lower) 

UP TO 10,000 FANS

From May 17, indoor venues will be allowed to admit up to a maximum of 1,000 spectators, or half their capacity if that figure is lower.

For outdoor events, there will be a maximum of 4,000 fans allowed, or half a venue’s capacity (whichever figure is lower).

However, at the biggest stadiums, such as Wembley, a maximum of 10,000 fans will be allowed, or a quarter of capacity (whichever figure is lower).

It is still not clear which stadiums qualify as these ‘biggest’ venues… so it remains to be seen whether Test matches and Wimbledon, among others, will be allowed up to 10,000 fans or just 4,000.

The Sunday Times said that Britain is offering to host the whole European Championship with the Government ‘responding positively’ to the prospect of taking on more games if asked by UEFA.

Hampden Park in Glasgow is also set to stage some matches at the Euros.

UEFA remains committed to the original plan for the Championship, pushed back 12 months because of the pandemic, which involves playing games in 12 different cities across Europe.

The competition, which runs from June 11 until July 11, is set to be held in London, Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, St Petersburg, Bilbao, Munich, Budapest, Baku, Rome and Bucharest. 

However, the slower progress of vaccination programmes in Europe and the complexities of Covid-19 travel restrictions and quarantines mean plans for a pan-continental tournament could yet change. 

The May 17 date comes two days after the FA Cup final is due to be staged at Wembley. Sportsmail understands that the FA is aware of the situation, although it is unclear at this stage whether the match will be moved. 

As revealed by Sportsmail, the timings mean the Carabao Cup Final between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur on April 25 will miss out and is likely to be played at Wembley in front of empty stands.

UEFA plans to stage Euro 2020 at 12 difference venues right across Europe but the situation has been complicated by Covid-19 restrictions

UEFA plans to stage Euro 2020 at 12 difference venues right across Europe but the situation has been complicated by Covid-19 restrictions

UEFA plans to stage Euro 2020 at 12 difference venues right across Europe but the situation has been complicated by Covid-19 restrictions 

The roadmap announced by Johnson does allow for further lifting of restrictions from March 29, but this is set to be modest and return the country to small outdoor gatherings of two families or a group of six people during April.

Elite sport learned a lot from test events last summer and the admission of fans during the tiers system, which allowed up to 4,000 supporters to attend events, during December.

Football sources say the aim is to be ready, whenever the government gives the green light.

England played a number of international games behind closed doors at Wembley in 2020

England played a number of international games behind closed doors at Wembley in 2020

England played a number of international games behind closed doors at Wembley in 2020

It is likely that test events will take place, utilising the learning from previous events, which were based on social distancing measures.

That approach may be augmented by the findings of the government’s Sports Technology and Innovation Group, which has continued to work on solutions to make sport even safer.

Previously, as sport prepared to ramp up attendances at events, it was widely expected that additional capacity would achieve through extensive use of rapid, lateral flow tests.

This would allow organisers to identify people who are carrying the virus, even if they have no symptoms, and prevent them from attending.

Like the rest of the country, expectations within elite sport have risen and fallen as the pandemic has developed.


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bourbiza

Bourbiza Mohamed. Writer and Political Discourse Analysis.

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