The semi-finals and final are set to be played at Wembley but UEFA has warned it will move the games due to potential travel restrictions
Contingency plans are being put in place to move the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final from Wembley to Budapest, if an agreement cannot be reached with the UK government to allow people into the country without quarantine.
The final three games of the tournament are due to be held at a 50 per cent capacity Wembley Stadium on July 6, 7 and 11.
But, with strict travel restrictions in place meaning anyone entering the UK from the vast majority of countries across the world would have to quarantine, it is putting the final in jeopardy and talks are ongoing as to how it can be resolved.
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What is the problem?
Current legislation states anyone arriving from a country on the UK’s amber or red list requires 10 days’ quarantine. Only people arriving from countries on the green list, of which there are only 10, are exempt from any kind of quarantine.
The issue UEFA has with this is that up to 2,500 VIPs, including UEFA and FIFA officials, sponsors and broadcasters, would not be able to attend the game and it will also prove to be a huge problem for travelling fans.
UEFA, who has organised the tournament, is in talks with the UK Government over potentially allowing those attending the game to be allowed into the country for 24 hours with a test and without the need to quarantine.
Similar talks were held before the Champions League final, which had to be moved from Istanbul. In the end an agreement could not be reached to allow for the travel loophole to be included for those attending the game and Portugal hosted the showpiece finale instead of Wembley.
While UEFA says it is hopeful of reaching a positive outcome, Goal has learned that Budapest is being lined up as a back-up option.
What has been said?
A statement from UEFA read: “UEFA is delighted that the capacity at Wembley will go up to at least 50% for the knock-out round matches. At the moment, we are in discussions with the local authorities to try to allow fans of the participating teams to attend the matches, using a strict testing and bubble concept that would mean their stay in the UK would be less than 24 hours and their movements would be restricted to approved transport and venues only.
“We understand the pressures that the Government face and hope to be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion of our discussions on the matter. There is always a contingency plan but we are confident that the final week will be held in London.”
Why is Budapest being considered?
At the start of the tournament the Puskas Arena in Budapest was the only stadium that was allowing a full capacity crowd. The stadium holds nearly 68,000 fans and was virtually full for the opening game in Group F between Hungary and Portugal.
Fans in attendance either had to be in possession of a Hungarian Immunity Card, which proved they have been vaccinated, or a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the game taking place. Any visiting supporters were allowed into Hungary for 72 hours without the need for quarantine.
Those plans which are already in place would allow for full capacity semi-finals and final should the need arise.
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