Italy to host Euro 2020 opener with crowd, says federation chief

Postponed last year due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the tournament is set to kick off at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on June 11 when Italy host Turkey.

The FIGC announced on Friday that Italy has arranged Euro 2020 warm-up matches against San Marino and the Czech Republic.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Italy will host the opening game of the European Championship as planned with a crowd in the stadium, according to the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) Gabriele Gravina.

The tournament, which was postponed last year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, is set to kick off at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico on June 11 when Italy host Turkey.

“I’m sure that we will open the European Championship in Rome and that we will do it with a crowd in the stadium,” Gravina told a news conference on Friday.

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“I still don’t know how many spectators there will be, but there will definitely be a crowd."

Italy is one of 12 host nations across Europe, and plans for the month-long tournament to go ahead as originally planned have been questioned as COVID-19 continues to spread.

UEFA said after a meeting with host nations in January that it had moved its deadline for federations to submit plans for accommodating fans inside grounds.

“We have invested two years of hard work and we’re convinced that by April 7 we will have feedback to present to UEFA, who won’t be able to ignore it,” Gravina added.

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The FIGC announced on Friday that Italy has arranged Euro 2020 warm-up matches against San Marino and the Czech Republic.

Cagliari’s Stadio Renato Dall’Ara will host both games, with the Azzurri facing San Marino on May 28 before a clash with the Czechs on June 4.

Italy faces Euro 2020 Group A rivals Turkey, Switzerland and Wales in Rome, while the Italian capital is also due to host a quarter-final game.