The European Cup faces "the unknown" ... and the British Prime Minister offers to help
Tomorrow, the third of March, marks the countdown to the 100-day stay of the European Football Cup, amid much uncertainty over how and where the tournament will be held, which was postponed from last summer due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
The opening match between Turkey and Italy is scheduled to take place on July 11 at the Olympic Stadium in the capital, Rome, while Wembley Stadium in the English capital London will host seven matches in the tournament, including the semi-final and the final match.
UEFA’s decision to organize the competition for the first time in 12 different cities across the old continent to celebrate its sixtieth anniversary was a logistical challenge even before the severe travel restrictions imposed by many countries due to Covid-19.
Elite football has been able to continue in the first classes in most European leagues thanks to strict health protocols it has put in place since last season, but behind closed doors to the fans and in stadiums devoid of enthusiasm and excitement.
In return, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson offered to help his country host additional matches.
Johnson said in statements to the British newspaper "The Sun" today: "We are hosting the European Nations Championship. We are hosting the semi-final and final."
With regard to UEFA, he said, "If there are any matches that should be hosted, we are absolutely ready to host them."
Due to the current problems caused by the Coronavirus, other solutions are being studied to organize the tournament.
So far, more than a third of adults in Britain have received the Coronavirus vaccine.
In light of the logistical challenges, a number of European Champions League and European League matches have been moved in recent weeks to neutral stadiums as a result of travel restrictions imposed by some countries to limit the spread of new strains of the virus. The 12 cities are London, Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Saint Petersburg, Bilbao, Munich, Budapest, Baku, Rome and Bucharest.
However, UEFA granted a deadline to those cities until early April, to inform whether they are in a position to receive fans in the stadiums and what is the capacity rate.
"The fans are a big part of the football advantage," said Slovenian President Aleksandar Ceferin of UEFA in January.
"We must clear the way for us to allow them to return to the stadiums," he added.
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