UEFA postpones the decision on Bilbao as the Spanish venue for the European Championship to Friday

The UEFA Executive Committee has postponed to next Friday the decision on whether or not Bilbao will remain as the Spanish venue for the next European Championship. UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin has confirmed this. “There are three cities that are in the air,” said the top leader of European football with regard to Bilbao, Munich and Dublin, cities that had asked for guarantees to be able to host public in their stadiums, an essential requirement to be stages of the Eurocup. Bilbao, whose city council has good relations with UEFA, will have a few more days to convince the European body. The city council and UEFA have spoken several times throughout this weekend. Seville, confirmed as an alternative by the Spanish Football Federation, remains waiting, although the organizers of this venue are convinced that the capital of Andalusia will be confirmed on Friday as an alternative to Bilbao.

If so, 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. The Bilbao headquarters is in the air due to the high health requirements of the Basque Government so that San Mamés had at least 25% of the public in its stands, the necessary condition that the European body put to ratify the 12 venues of this European Championship. The Basque Government, for example, demanded 60% of the vaccinated population for there to be a public in San Mamés. The Junta de Andalucía guaranteed 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 developments of the coronavirus pandemic in Andalusia.

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 of the Federation, which has managed to get this option discussed in the UEFA Executive Committee, although it will be announced next Friday. Currently, 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. Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Rome will have between 25% and 33% capacity. London, meanwhile, has confirmed a minimum capacity of 25% for the first three games of the group stage and the round of 16.

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