Euro 2020: Bilbao will not receive the Euro, Dublin in doubt

San Mamés Stadium
Bilbao will ultimately not be the host city of Euro 2020, initially played for the first time in twelve European cities.

There will be no Euro-2020 matches at the San Mamés stadium in Bilbao, Basque organizers announced on Wednesday April 21 in a statement, after receiving a letter from UEFA on the day that noted. the withdrawal of the Basque host city. Bilbao was one of the 12 host cities selected by UEFA to host matches for Euro-2020 (rescheduled from 11 June to 11 July 2021 due to the pandemic), but the overly strict sanitary conditions imposed by the Basque host city to ensure the presence of the public have made UEFA back down.

In a long statement criticizing the decision “unilateral“of UEFA to withdraw the organization of the four matches planned at the San Mamés stadium (the three matches of the group stage of Spain and a round of 16), the Basque organizers have shown their dissatisfaction.

“We will not accept in any way the questioning of the capacity of the Basque authorities to manage and organize international events. We will leave no doubt about the criteria that have always been applied in this project for more than six years, because this is where the Basque style prevails: seriousness, consistency, professionalism and responsibility ”, indicates the press release published on the Bilbao City Hall website.

Members of Bilbao’s bid to host Euro-2020 also asked UEFA to pass it on to them “in writing what are the points of the contract that we have not respected”, as well as “the point of the contract which mentions the possibility of changing the host city without consulting, communicating or working with this host city”, but believe that there is “no convincing explanation”.

Dublin will probably not be able to accommodate enough people in the stadiums to be able to organize the Euro-2020 football matches scheduled for this summer, Irish Deputy Prime Minister Leo Varadkar admitted again on Wednesday. UEFA requires stadiums to be 25% full to confirm host cities for the competition. “I think if they continue to insist on this, it will be difficult to continue”Mr. Varadkar told Today FM radio. “We’re just very careful about it”, he added. “We just think June will be too early.”

Two weeks ago, Ireland had already informed UEFA that they could not commit to a minimum stadium filling rate for the competition which runs from 11 June to 11 July. Dublin’s Aviva Stadium would normally host three Group E matches: Poland-Slovakia on June 14, Sweden-Slovakia on June 18 and Sweden-Poland on 23 -, as well as a round of 16.

Pubs, restaurants, non-essential businesses are still closed there since Christmas and international travel or even within the country is limited. Dublin is not the only city that risks losing the Euro matches it was supposed to host. Munich also in the hot seat, while UEFA must announce Friday the final list of host cities and the possible place of withdrawal for the meetings to be moved.

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