Wembley could LOSE Euro 2020 final if fans are still banned from grounds next summer – but FA are confident national stadium will stay as a host venue even if domestic lockout continues
- UEFA is making plans for next year’s Euro 2020 as Covid-19 outbreak continues
- The finals are likely to be played in three or four countries instead of 12 cities
- Wembley Stadium was due to be a host city and stage the semi-final and final
- The FA thinks it will still keep its place even if fans are banned from UK stadiums
- But UEFA is wary of holding latter stages of the tournament in empty grounds
The FA have been given assurances that Wembley will remain a host venue for Euro 2020 even if fans do not return to Premier League stadiums — but they risk losing the tournament final should the Government shutout continue.
UEFA insiders have told Sportsmail that next summer’s finals — postponed for 12 months because of the coronavirus pandemic — are likely to be held in ‘three or four countries’ as opposed to the original plan of 12 cities across the continent.
And chief among UEFA’s concerns is the capacity of host nations to accommodate fans and sponsors inside stadiums, given their importance from a financial and aesthetic perspective.
The FA has been assured that Wembley will keep its place as a host stadium for Euro 2020
Tournament chiefs are making arrangements for next summer but want fans in attendance
UEFA bosses are intent on making sure their ambitious competition retains its spectacle
However, in light of conversations with UEFA, the FA are confident they will retain host status even if the domestic lockout extends into next year.
Practices and protocols are already in place and they are ready to act quickly once given the all-clear to allow fans into Wembley.
England may even be asked to stage more than its seven allocated matches given the expected reduction in hosts.
But it will leave UEFA bosses with a headache if the Government continues to put a block on supporters returning to stadiums, especially as the flagship semi-finals and final are scheduled for Wembley.
Wembley risks losing its place as a semi-final and final host if UK’s shutout of fans continues
Insiders say UEFA will not want those matches played in empty stadiums if alternatives are available. Any decisions on how the tournament will look, though, will be delayed until 2021.
Wembley and Munich’s Allianz Arena, with capacities of 90,000 and 75,000 respectively, are the largest venues allocated games and sources say a handful of host countries — primarily from central Europe — is the most likely scenario.
But Wednesday night’s news that Germany has placed a temporary ban on fans in stadiums during November was concerning for tournament chiefs. UEFA did not comment on specific host nations and said they are still…