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England set to host extra Euro 2020 games as Ireland and Spain cannot guarantee fans while Scotland approve crowds

UEFA has been plunged into Euro 2020 crisis after Bilbao was ruled out of hosting games at the tournament – just hours after announcing it would host 12,000 fans.

The shock news came with Dublin seeming almost certain to lose its four planned Euro 2020 games after telling Uefa it CANNOT guarantee letting fans into the Aviva Stadium.

Scotland will be allowed to play two group games in front of 12,000 fans at Hampden


Scotland will be allowed to play two group games in front of 12,000 fans at HampdenCredit: Getty
England are set to profit from Dublin and Bilbao being unable to commit to allowing fans inside the Aviva Stadium this summer


England are set to profit from Dublin and Bilbao being unable to commit to allowing fans inside the Aviva Stadium this summerCredit: Getty

While the Scottish Government gave the green light for supporters at Hampden Park, Euro chiefs were still left on tenterhooks about the status of both Munich and Rome, due to host the opening game of the tournament.

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But the chaos opens up the door to far more games taking place in England, with possibly two more venues required in this country.

Euro bosses’ worst fears appeared to have been ended earlier yesterday despite the admission by the FA of Ireland that Dublin was unable to meet Uefa President Aleksander Ceferin’s demand for fan guarantees.

It had seemed that Ireland would be the only one of the 12 planned hosts who were unable to make the supporter pledge.

That left the Irish capital looking set to be stripped of the three group games and last 16 match it was due to stage – with the growing likelihood that they would be moved to England.

The FA of Ireland said it had reached its position “on advice and guidance” from the Irish Government and was therefore “not in a position at this point to provide assurances on minimum spectator levels”.

It added: “Public health issues are the most important consideration in the organisation of the project.

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“We have advised Uefa that the matter will be kept under review and that we will continue to discuss all issues on an ongoing basis.”

That statement came as the SFA said it was ‘delighted’ that the Scottish government had approved allowing up to 12,000 fans inside Hampden – 25 per cent of its tournament capacity.

However, that would be ‘subject to continued progress with the roll-out of the vaccination programme’. 

Earlier, both Bilbao and Amsterdam had announced similar percentages for their games, although doubts remained over both Munich and Rome despite the German and Italian FAs both signalling their desire to meet Uefa’s demands.

But last night the Spanish FA blew Uefa’s plans up in the air and blaming the Covid protocols demanded by the regional basque Government.

Madrid boss said: “The conditions for fans to enter the Estadio San Memes, of 60 per cent of the population of the Basque Country and of Spain to be vaccinated by June 14 are impossible to comply with.

“It is false to say we have agreed them – indeed we told the Basque Government they were impossible.

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“Therefore, the decisions Uefa will take when they see them will not be our responsibility – as we have warned them.

“We will support the Basque Government if these same conditions are accepted in any of the other cities but we see that as unlikely.”

In any event, the likely end of Dublin’s hopes – set to be confirmed in the coming days – will have a potential knock-in effect for England, who were due to go to the aviva for that first knock-out round if they win their initial group.

Uefa have hinted strongly that they will take up PM Boris Johnson’s invitation to play more games in the UK, with Manchester United’s Old Trafford or Newcastle’s St James’ Park emerging as serious options.

But if Bilbao is now ruled out, and perhaps joined by others, Uefa is likely to ask the FA to help come to its rescue and stage even more games.

That may see extra matches in London – at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – as well.

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