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Dublin Euro 2020 games in fresh doubt as FAI tell Uefa they cannot provide assurances on crowd numbers

Dublin is due to host three Group E games as well one of the ties in the knock-out stage.

A general view of the Aviva Stadium.
A general view of the Aviva Stadium.
Image: PA

Updated Apr 7th 2021, 5:00 PM

THE FAI HAS informed Uefa that they cannot guarantee supporters will be allowed back inside stadiums in time for the rescheduled European Championships this summer.

The European governing body had asked for the 12 host cities – including Glasgow, Dublin and London – for their proposals on how many fans they expect to be able to accommodate by today, Wednesday.

And the FAI has now confirmed that they are not in a position to make assurances that spectators will be allowed back into Irish stadiums by the time the rescheduled championships kick off in June, putting Dublin’s status as a host city in serious doubt.

An FAI statement read: “The Football Association of Ireland, on advice and guidance from the Government, has today notified Uefa that owing to the COVID-19 pandemic it is not in a position at this point to provide assurances on minimum spectator levels at the Uefa Euro 2020 matches due to be held in Dublin in June.

“In so doing, we have advised Uefa that the matter will be kept under review and that the Dublin LOS team including Government will continue to discuss all issues with Uefa on an ongoing basis.

“All partners of the Local Organising Structure – Government, the FAI, Aviva Stadium and Dublin City Council – recognise the challenges presented by spectator attendance at Aviva Stadium for the scheduled hosting of four matches at Euro 2020 this summer and that public health issues are the most important consideration in the organisation of the project.”

FAI Chief Executive Jonathan Hill said: “We have made our submission to Uefa today and now await their response once submissions from all 12 host cities have been received and considered.”

Dublin is due to host three Group E games, involving Poland, Slovakia and Sweden, as well one of the ties in the knock-out stage. 

However there is a danger Dublin could now lose those games, as Uefa could favour host cities who will be able to accomodate supporters in some capacity.

The PA news agency understands Uefa will also allow host cities to upscale plans for supporters to attend Euro 2020 matches should conditions around the coronavirus pandemic improve.

The UK Government is set to hold a number of test events in coming weeks, with plans to allow a 21,000 crowd for the FA Cup final on 15 May – with a view to having Wembley full for at least some European Championship games.

Wembley will see England open their Group D campaign against Croatia on 13 June, before then welcoming Scotland on June 18 followed by the Czech Republic.

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The stadium is also set to host one last-16 game as well as both the semi-finals and then final on July 11.

On Tuesday, Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was optimistic there would be a “reasonably good number” of supporters at Hampden for matches against the Czechs on 14 June and then Croatia eight days later.

The Italian Football Federation said it had been told by the government that Rome’s Stadio Olimpico would also be able to welcome spectators for Euro 2020.

Following today’s submissions, a meeting will be held on Thursday of the Euro Steering Group, which consists of the 12 national associations and Uefa.

PA understands once hosts have submitted the scenarios, they will be allowed to come back to Uefa before 28 April with an increased view on how many supporters they could accommodate.

The governing body is understood not to be pushing the deadline back as such, but rather allowing venues to upscale if conditions around the coronavirus pandemic get better in the coming weeks.

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