BERLIN – Bayern Munich director Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, a significant figure in European football, says Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin is thinking about holding the current year’s European Championship in a solitary country, and not in 12 as initially arranged.
The deferred Euro 2020 Finals, booked to be played in 12 host urban communities across Europe from June 11 until July 11, have just been pushed back a year because of issues brought about by the Covid pandemic.
The host urban communities are Glasgow, Dublin, Bilbao, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Munich, Rome, St Petersburg, Bucharest, Budapest and Baku, with the semi-finals and last set for London’s Wembley. The 24-group, month-long show-stopper is a significant income generator for Europe’s football administering body and public organizations.
However, high numbers of the virus across the continent are threatening to force another rethink.
“One must not forget that the idea of this special tournament was born when the coronavirus did not yet exist,” Rummenigge told Munich-based newspapers Muenchner Merkur/TZ.
“At the time, it was an initiative of the EU Commission, which wanted football to be represented throughout Europe.
“In any case, I realize that Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin – who is amazingly cautious with Covid-19 – is considering whether it wouldn’t bode well… to play the competition in only one country.”
A Uefa representative didn’t deny the recommendation to AFP on Tuesday (Jan 19), yet said there is “no data” and “no remark to make at this stage”.
The representative said that Uefa is proceeding to chip away at the premise the Finals will be held all through Europe.
“In concurrence with the 12 urban areas, we are as of now chipping away at four situations – full arenas, arenas somewhere in the range of 50 and 100% full, 20 to 30 percent full, and in secret,” the representative added.
Uefa hopes to declare a choice on whether the Finals can be held as moved toward a “city by city” premise on March 5. The host urban areas have been approached to concoct a few plans out of those alternatives and it is conceivable various methodologies will be taken in every setting.
A week ago, it was accounted for that Ceferin had noticed that inoculation programs, which are moving at various paces across the different host nations, would be the way to adhering to the first arrangement.
He had disclosed to Serbian paper Informer that “immunization has begun and I figure we will have the option to have full stands in the late spring”.
In any case, the Slovenian added that “we are prepared to sort out rivalries in 11, 10 or nine urban communities… furthermore, even just in one country, if vital”.
Given the transmission bargains set up for the competition, Uefa has a solid business interest in the occasion occurring as arranged. Regardless of whether the whole competition must be held without fans, it would even now permit Uefa to meet its authoritative prerequisites and maintain a strategic distance from a significant monetary hit.
One danger to the competition would come if, similar to a year ago, homegrown classes needed to stop because of the pandemic, pushing back the club rivalries.
Up until this point, European alliances, with severe conventions set up for secure games without fans, have had the option to keep playing, in spite of the fact that plans for the arrival of fans have been influenced by the new third influx of Covid cases across Europe.