Soccer-Bosnia to allow up to 2,000 fans at Euro playoffs, Nations League

SARAJEVO, Oct 2 (Reuters) – Bosnia will allow up to 2,000 fans to attend their upcoming home games against Northern Ireland in the Euro 2020 playoffs and the Netherlands in the Nations League, the Balkan country’s FA (NSFS BIH) said on Friday.

“In line with the UEFA executive board’s decision to allow a partial return of fans to stadiums, the NSFS BIH will allow fan presence against Northern Ireland on Oct. 8 and the Netherlands three days later.

“The decision, made after consultations with the country’s federal health ministry, will be implemented in full compliance with UEFA’s health standards.”

Bosnia will host Northern Ireland in Sarajevo next Thursday, with the winner going through to a playoff final where a berth in next year’s European championship will be up for grabs.

Bosnia will also be at home to the Netherlands in Zenica on Oct. 11 in their Nations League top-tier Group A match.

UEFA on Thursday gave the green light for fans to occupy up to 30% percent of stadium capacity at European competition matches where local authorities allow.

Spectators have been banned from all UEFA matches since March because of the COVID-19 pandemic, except at the Super Cup match played in Budapest on Sept. 24. which was used as a pilot for their return.

Euro 2020, originally scheduled from June 12 to July 12 this year, was pushed back due the pandemic and is now to be staged from June 11 to July 11 next year.

The winners of the Bosnia v Northern Ireland match will be at home to the winners of Slovakia v Ireland on Nov. 12 for a spot in the 24-nation tournament.

Bosnia are hoping to reach their first European Championship as an independent nation. (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Toby Davis)

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