The semi-finals and the final of Euro-2020 this year will be played on Webley. This tournament is very different from all previous because now covid is changing the reality around us.
Covid also influenced the Euro this year, and now we’ll describe in detail how it was shaped by the pandemic.
The tournament was postponed for a year
First, a one-year postponement. Initially, the European Championship was supposed to be held from June 12 to July 12, 2020. But on March 17, when it became clear that the planet (and first of all, Europe) was plunging into the abyss of coronavirus chaos, UEFA officially postponed the tournament for exactly one year, retaining the name “Euro-2020”.
What costs the Union of European Football Associations incurred due to the postponement remains to be seen, but there are still national organizing committees. Some, however, officially report that the costs have hardly changed.
The head of the Euro Organizing Committee in St. Petersburg Alexei Sorokin said that “thanks to the optimization and reallocation of expenses”, the amount remained the same as originally planned, 39 million euros. The amount, however, was the most impressive in comparison with other cities.
In Glasgow, an additional 233 thousand euros were spent (4.3 million in total). Munich spent almost a million more (16.5 total), Budapest increased the budget by 400 thousand euros (11.2 total).
Seville generally had to urgently allocate money, because the transfer of the tournament matches from Bilbao was officially announced only in April. Moreover, Bilbao, of course, was unhappy: they incurred expenses for more than one million euros but failed to provide guarantees of admission to spectators and lost games with the participation of the Spanish national team. Now they are going to sue UEFA.
Fewer fans, harder to follow the team around the world
Secondly, a decrease in the number of spectators in the stands (and, as a consequence, a decrease in cities, because the games from Dublin were transferred to St. Petersburg and London precisely because of the lack of spectators there).
“Stadio Olimpico” in Rome, “Hampden Park” in Glasgow, and an arena in Bucharest were planning to use 25% of the capacity. Munich (22%), Amsterdam and Seville up to 30-33% each, Copenhagen (45%), Baku and St. Petersburg about 50%. Wembley was counting on 22.5 thousand spectators during the group stage and 1/8 finals, but by semifinals and finals, they increased the number of allowed fans up to 60 thousand (75%).
And only Budapest is still ready to accept a full house with bracelets confirming vaccination, antibodies and a negative coronavirus test.
Different protocols for a teams
Thirdly, UEFA increased the teams’ applications from 23 to 26 players, so that each team has the opportunity to rotate in unforeseen circumstances. For example, an infection of one of the players. And this did happen before the tournament: Spanish footballers Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente were affected and had to go on quarantine.
The whole team will not have to quarantine at the Euro, as happened last summer during the resumption of the national championships. According to the protocols, only those infected will have to be isolated, and the rest will be thoroughly tested. The other example of the usage of this protocol is the situation with Billy Gilmour positive test.
How it affects teams
The biggest question for the English fans now: “Is football coming home?”. The supporters of other teams will have to go on 10-day quarantine, therefore the chances for anyone not living in England to make it to the stadium in the semi-finals and the final are extremely low.
The fans’ support is very important, and England will play home with huge assistance. They have all the chances to get the title. With fans, many betting operators, such as Novibet (Bookmaker Ratings has the review on the website: https://bookmaker-ratings.com/review/novibet-review/), have witnessed ups and downs of glorious teams, including the current manager, Gareth Southgate. Can the legendary defender-made-manager lead England to such a desired trophy with the full support of the stadium? We’ll find out soon enough.