Breathe a sigh of relief at the DFB and the city of Munich: The UEFA Executive Committee confirmed Munich on Friday with a little delay as the venue for the European Championship.
Three home games in the last gallop: Joachim Löw can look forward to another special candy on his farewell tour. The European Football Union (UEFA) ended the tremendous game at its special meeting on Friday and confirmed Munich as the venue for the European Football Championship. In the end, the executive committee headed by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and Rainer Koch was given a spectator guarantee with a back door.
The Bavarian state government approved 14,500 spectators for the games in the Allianz Arena and sent the German Football Association to the day of the decision with a kind of “spectator guarantee light”. Because the authorities reserve the right to restrict themselves. An adjustment “would be necessary if public health was endangered due to a very negative development” of the pandemic, according to a statement published by the DFB.
Ghost games are not completely off the table yet, even if UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin is already raving. “I am delighted that we can welcome the spectators to all games for a celebration of national team football across the continent.” Löw’s last EM mission can certainly pick up speed in his own country.
The preliminary round matches of the German national team against France (June 15), Portugal (June 19) and Hungary (June 23) are all scheduled in Munich, and a quarter-finals will also take place in the Bavarian capital. Munich was the only one of the three remaining shaky candidates to convince UEFA. Bilbao has been replaced by Seville, St. Petersburg and London also take over the Dublin games. This is the first pan-European EM in eleven countries.
Curtius: “We received a lot of encouragement”
Only the full spectator guarantee was missing – and UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin had unequivocally demanded that. Each of the twelve organizers must guarantee “that fans are allowed to attend the games,” said the UEFA boss in mid-March: “The option of any match in the European Championship being played without fans is off the table.” It is an open secret that this will save the revenue from ticket sales.
But the DFB always planned with three scenarios in close coordination with the Bavarian state government and the city of Munich. As a “realistic” lead scenario, the EM makers see the model with a capacity of over 20 percent and around 14,500 viewers, but a scenario with zero to 7,000 viewers is also planned as a lifeline for a negative pandemic development.
If the Bavarian Infection Protection Ordinance requires it, this worst-case scenario can also be implemented at short notice, the city recently announced. But it was precisely this way of thinking that was actually a thorn in the side of UEFA. Bilbao and Dublin were undone by such an approach, both of which were apparently banned against their will.
The Basque regional government announced that UEFA had decided this “unilaterally”. Both now want to push for compensation payments, Munich and the DFB don’t have to think about it. After all, the European Football Union wanted to keep its largest member association on board – and, a little too late, came up with a compromise solution.