Euro 2020 cancellation is ‘NOT an option due to the financial damage it would cause’… with UEFA considering ‘four different options’ to stage games in just ONE country in worse-case scenario
- UEFA still hope to hold Euro 2020 in its original format across 12 different cities
- Europe’s governing body are looking at fall-back options if that’s not possible
- A sole host could step in, forming a bubble for games to be played without fans
- France, Germany, England & Scotland and Russia are all potential options
- But UEFA are adamant the tournament will take place in some shape or form
UEFA have no intention of cancelling this summer’s European Championships due to the financial damage it would cause, according to reports.
Euro 2020 was originally postponed in March last year due to the coronavirus outbreak, with a straightforward one-year delay implemented and the Europe-wide tournament set to take place in June and July this year.
But, with the pandemic still having a fearsome hold across the continent and numerous counties in lockdown, there is concern the event may be cancelled but this is simply not an option, according to ESPN, with UEFA looking at a number of alternative options should the pan-European event be unable to go ahead in its original format.
UEFA – led by president Aleksander Ceferin (right) – have no intention of cancelling Euro 2020
Wembley is set to host the semi-finals and final but the UK is currently in a third lockdown
The report details that cancelling the Euros would ‘prove ruinous to many of Europe’s 55 national associations and the UEFA initiatives and development programmes, all of which rely on the proceeds of major tournaments to operate.’
UEFA will make a final decision in mid-March, with an acceptance that maximum capacity crowds are very unlikely.
The best option is for stadiums to hold 70 per cent capacity, with an alternative of 30 per cent a second scenario – Wembley is set to hold both semi-finals and the final in July.
UEFA have a problem in that 90 per cent of tickets have already been sold, with a ‘minimal number’ returned following the postponement, which will present an issue if, as expected, crowd limitations are enforced.
However, should the tournament – due to be held in 12 cities – be unable to go ahead across Europe, there are options to fall-back on such as an event taking place in one country, potentially behind closed doors in a similar manner to the final-eight competition concluding last season’s Champions League in Lisbon.
But with 24 teams to cater for, in terms of matches over a month-long period and training facilities for each participant, it would be a massive logistical undertaking – and there are therefore only a handful of potential hosts.
Portugal won the last edition of the European Championships, held in France in 2016
As hosts of Euro 2016, France is considered an option as is Germany, which is set to hold the 2024 edition.
England and Scotland, who are both set to stage games in this year’s competition, are also an option as they already have the infrastructure in place to host games within a bubble.
However, all three countries are currently besieged with a high coronavirus rate, while Brexit complicates the situation further should the UK step-in as a sole host.
Hampden Park in Glasgow, Scotland is also set to host matches in this summer’s Euro 2020
The fourth option is Russia, which held the 2018 World Cup, with a bubble limited to five stadiums in St. Petersburg and Moscow.
Yet UEFA currently have the viewpoint that a sole host and an event taking place in a sole COVID-secure bubble is ‘highly unlikely’ and a ‘worse-case scenario’.
Either way, a decision will gave to be made long before UEFA’s congress on April 20, with president Aleksander Ceferin hoping a mass vaccine roll-out across the continent means the tournament will be able to go ahead in as close to its original format as possible.
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