UEFA ends cap on fan limits in stadiums ahead of Euro 2020

UEFA said the cap on stadiums being 30 per cent full, which was imposed in October, was no longer needed. Local officials have the ultimate authority.

Euro 2020

Then DFB president Reinhard Grindel and UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin speak during the Euro 2020 logo presentation on October 27, 2016 in Munich, Germany.   -  Getty Images

Aiming to have more fans at this year's European Championship games, UEFA on Wednesday ended its own limit, which was imposed in October, of stadiums being 30 per cent full for matches it organises during the coronavirus pandemic.

"(T)he number of permitted spectators should fall under the exclusive responsibility of the relevant competent local/national authorities," UEFA said in a statement.

A season-long ban on ticket sales for traveling fans was also extended up to mid-May, ending before the Champions League final on May 29 in Istanbul.

Fans have not been able to attend most UEFA-organised games this season in the Champions League and Europa League. National team games have been affected in qualifying for Euro 2020, 2022 World Cup and last year's Nations League.

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Euro 2020 kicks off after a one-year postponement on June 11 in Rome — one of the 12 host cities around Europe. UEFA wants to finalize plans with each host city in April for how many fans they expect to allow safely in their stadiums.

Cities unable or unwilling to give UEFA the assurances it wants could be dropped from the project.

UEFA this month cited a "need to consider whether it would make sense to play without fans, or whether such matches should be reallocated to other venues." Dublin could be most at risk, with authorities in Bilbao, Glasgow and Munich also previously indicating they might need more time to decide on safe protocols as COVID-19 infection rates rise again.

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Russian officials confirmed on Wednesday that St Petersburg's 65,000-seat stadium will be filled to at least 50% capacity for its four games.

London will host seven games — three group games, a round of 16 game, plus the semifinals and the final — at Wembley Stadium. The other 11 cities are due to host three games in a group and one knockout game in the round of 16 or quarterfinals.

UEFA is also weighing if the 24 teams can have bigger squads than the usual 23-player pools selected for tournaments.