According to ESPN, Wembley Stadium could be stripped of the Euro 2020 final and semifinals if they don’t grant quarantine exemptions. This comes in light of the UK government failing to allow exemptions for visiting supporters and UEFA guests to attend the games with Budapest a replacement.
ESPN have revealed that UEFA has raised the issue with the UK government primarily to secure an exemption for supporters of competing teams to travel to London for the semis and the final next month. Euro 2020, which is taking place 12 months late due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is being staged in 11 countries across Europe and the nine host cities on the European mainland have granted quarantine exemptions for citizens from other countries to attend games in their cities.
Reports have indicated, however, that the UK is continuing to hold firm on its border policy of insisting on a 10-day quarantine for all visitors from countries on its amber list and are reluctant to exempt UEFA officials. Especially at a time when UK citizens are subject to the same strict measures when returning from overseas. If that doesn’t happen, then ESPN further reported that the Puskas Arena could offer UEFA the opportunity to stage the semi-finals and final in front of a much larger crowd.
Since Hungary is scheduled to lift all border restrictions for travel, have indicated that it will be easier to host games and accommodate officials without the hassles of strict quarantine restrictions. However, UEFA released a statement where they stated their joy at the fact that Wembley are set to increase their capacity by 50% but also confirmed that they are in talks with the UK government to allow fans to attend games using “strict testing and bubble concepts”.
“UEFA is delighted that the capacity at Wembley will go up to at least 50% for the knock-out round matches. At the moment, we are in discussions with the local authorities to try to allow fans of the participating teams to attend the matches, using a strict testing and bubble concept that would mean their stay in the UK would be less than 24 hours and their movements would be restricted to approved transport and venues only. We understand the pressures that the Government face and hope to be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion of our discussions on the matter. There is always a contingency plan but we are confident that the final week will be held in London,” read the UEFA statement.