With 100 days to go, Glasgow, Dublin and Bilbao are at risk of being stripped of the games they are due to host at the European Championships, according to reports.
The governments in Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Spain respectively have been reluctant to give UEFA assurances about the number of fans it could allow into their venues by the time the tournament starts, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
All three nations are taking a more cautious approach than the other nine host cities, who are more optimistic about what the situation will look like by June.
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Although the UK has the worst Covid-19 death rate in Europe, it is also well ahead in its vaccination programme, leading Prime Minister Boris Johnson to claim that he would be happy for England to take more games at the delayed Euro 2020, if needed.
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Up to 10,000 fans are due to be back in stadiums from May 17, according to the road map announced last week, with all restrictions lifted on June 21 - although this is subject to conditions and only applies to England - with the devolved nations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) setting their own frameworks.
According to the Associated Press and the BBC, European football’s governing body has set a deadline of early April for all 12 host cities to feedback on how they plan to stage their matches.
Dublin's Aviva Stadium is another venue which could reportedly lose its status as a Euro 2020 venue
Image credit: Getty Images
The approaches of the respective football associations will be driven by each government, though, with Scotland’s health secretary Jeane Freeman saying on Wednesday that “we’ll see whether it’s possible at any point along the road for fans to actually be present to witness” the tournament.
It would be a huge blow for Scotland, who have qualified for their first major tournament since the 1998 World Cup, and are due to play two matches at Hampden Park, which will put four fixtures on overall.
The Irish government told AP it is “too soon” to give any certainties to UEFA, while Spain is taking a “cautious” approach but says it is in constant dialogue about the situation.
AP has reported that if games are taken away from Glasgow and Dublin, they could be relocated to other stadiums on the British Isles, possibly Tottenham’s relatively new home, or venues in Manchester and Liverpool.
Yesterday, UEFA and The FA distanced itself from the possibility of England becoming the sole hosts of the event.
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