The Copa del Rey trophy occupied the stage where Luis Rubiales, president of the Spanish Football Federation, and Javier Imbroda, Minister of Culture and Sports of the Junta de Andalucía, confirmed that Seville is the venue that Spain will present for the next European Championship. as an alternative to Bilbao, if the UEFA executive committee rejects the Biscayan candidacy next Monday. “La Cartuja is a magnificent place and I will do everything humanly possible so that Spain does not lose a European Championship venue due to the serious difficulties that Bilbao presents,” said Rubiales, who announced that he will not participate in the vote that will decide on Monday whether Spain is allowed to change its venue to host the matches of the Spanish team against Sweden (June 14); Poland (June 19) and Slovakia (June 23). In addition, La Cartuja would host a round of 16 duel on June 27.
Meanwhile, the acting mayor of Bilbao, Amaia Arregui, assured yesterday that “Bilbao continues to host the European Championship and continues to meet clauses, commitments and deadlines.” The change to another headquarters within the same country if UEFA rejects the original was not contemplated in the regulations for the appointment of candidacies. This has been the great battle for Rubiales, who has managed to get this option to be voted on by the UEFA Executive Committee. Employees of the European body have been inspecting the infrastructure of Seville for a week before the probable transfer.
The good relations between the Junta de Andalucía and the Spanish Federation, which have resulted in a collaboration agreement for the community to host 24 matches of the different teams in the next four years, as well as the Cup finals until 2023, have been decisive in the election of Seville. “It was our first option,” Rubiales stressed.
The alternative of Seville as the venue is also supported by the sanitary guarantees that the Andalusian Government presents so that there is at least 25% of the total capacity of the 60,000 spectators that can fit in the La Cartuja stadium. “We work to guarantee sanitary measures and to be able to have an audience between a range of 25% to 50% of the public in La Cartuja”, sources from the Ministry of Education and Sports admitted to EL PAÍS. Andalusia has promised that between 15,000 and 30,000 spectators can attend the La Cartuja stadium. This weekend, Seville enters alert level 3 in grade 1 due to the incidence of the coronavirus. Yesterday there were 2,476 infections in the community. The bars must close at 8:00 p.m., travel between the Andalusian provinces is prohibited and there will be a reduction in capacity. Seville has also suspended its traditional bullfighting fair due to the Board’s restrictions.
The Board has not determined exactly what the sanitary guarantees are to put at least 15,000 spectators in La Cartuja, although they must be less strict than those proposed by the Basque Government, which, for example, required 60% of the vaccinated population for there to be an audience in San Mamés. “We cannot fix a percentage of the vaccinated population in Andalusia or Seville because vaccination does not depend on us. The Board applies the vaccines, but whether they arrive depends on Europe and the central government, ”the same sources from the Sports Department point out. The Basque Government also demanded that the accumulated incidence at 14 days should be less than 40 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in their community. In addition, the percentage of COVID hospital occupancy should be less than 8% and a percentage of ICU bed occupancy less than 2% in the Basque Country.
Rubiales and Imbroda assured that there was a “fantastic” device for there to be an audience in the Cup final on April 3 between Athletic and Real Sociedad. “Andalusia was closed and we could not carry it out,” acknowledged Rubiales. Possibly, this device is very similar to the one that the Board has now presented to the Spanish Federation and UEFA itself. A moderate risk forecast in mid-June. In addition, Rubiales confirmed that the final of the Copa del Rey in 2024 will also be held in Seville.