UEFA president counts on full football stadiums for Euro 2021
Thursday, 13 August 2020
The Euro 2020 football competition, which has been postponed to 2021 because of the coronavirus outbreak, should be able to take place with an audience, and without any change to the format in 12 cities, according to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin.
“We will have spectators in the stadiums,” Ceferin said in an interview with AFP on Thursday, adding that what people think is strange today might no longer be strange in December or January.
“We still have time to think about it,” Ceferin said. “For the time being, we are keeping the same format and we hope and believe that we will have spectators in the stadiums.”
Euro 2020 should have taken place in June and July of this year, but the coronavirus pandemic forced UEFA, the governing body of European football, to postpone its scheduled competition in 12 cities in 12 countries for a year.
This postponement allowed the switch to club competitions, the Champions League, Europa League and major national championships, to take advantage of the dates released to go ahead behind closed doors in late spring and summer, after several weeks of paralysis in European football in the face of the spread of the disease.
Ceferin assured that he did not entertain the question of playing behind closed doors. However, apart from France, where a maximum capacity of 5,000 people is allowed in the stadiums, most of the major European football countries are currently organising matches without an audience.
“I do not even want to talk about no spectators, or a limited number of spectators,” Ceferin said. “I want to remain optimistic, send out positive energy, and I personally really believe that we will have spectators.”
“If that is not possible, we will talk about it then,” he added. “I sincerely believe that things will normalise before next year, long before that.”