Bilbao will not host Euro 2021, but Seville will. After last Wednesday UEFA ruled out the Basque capital as the venue for the competition, which begins on June 11, the European body has confirmed this Friday to the Andalusian city, presented as an alternative so that Spain does not leave the map of the next Eurocup.
For weeks, the Spanish Football Federation, in anticipation that Bilbao could fall, maneuvered so that La Cartuja, in Seville, became the Spanish headquarters of the national team tournament. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin had asked cities for guarantees to ensure that they could welcome the public in their stadiums, a prerequisite for being the venues of the European Championship. However, Bilbao could not guarantee the presence of the public due to the health requirements of the Basque government, which, for example, required 60% of the vaccinated population for there to be spectators 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 ”, sources from the Department of Sports told this newspaper. 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 in the Basque Country should be less than 8% and the percentage of ICU bed occupancy less than 2%.
The Junta de Andalucía, on the other hand, guaranteed to UEFA through the Spanish Federation the presence of at least 25% of the public in La Cartuja (15,000 fans out of a total of 60,000) with the possibility of increasing it to 50 % depending on the evolution of the coronavirus pandemic in Andalusia. But, for the moment, it has not specified what are the sanitary guarantees to host fans at the Andalusian venue. Guarantees that would be less strict than those of the Basque government and that augur a better situation of the pandemic in the capital that there is today.
Seville, at the moment, is at alert level 3 in grade 1, which implies the closure of bars and non-essential shops at 8:00 p.m. and strict control of capacity, among other measures. Furthermore, Andalusia is the only Spanish community with a provincial perimeter closure.
Thus the things, Spain will play in the La Cartuja stadium their first phase matches 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.
Munich and Dublin are also up in the air in the absence of UEFA’s go-ahead. Meanwhile, nine host cities have confirmed the attendance of fans at their stadiums: Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Rome and Saint Petersburg.
Saint Petersburg and Baku have confirmed up to 50% of the public at their venues. Budapest even wants to allow 100% capacity, but with strict requirements for spectators to enter the stadium.