UEFA demands decision
Hampden doubt for Euro 2020 over fans ruling
Hampden Park is a host venue (pic: SNS Group)
Hampden Park risks being dropped as a Euro 2020 host stadium — unless First Minister Nicola Sturgeon allows some fans to attend matches.
Tournament host cities have been told to give their most realistic assessment of stadium capacities by 7 April but Glasgow and Dublin have become major doubts.
While in England a ‘road map’ has been set out for the return of up to 10,000 fans – albeit based on a series of tests being met at each step – there is less certainty in Scotland.
The Scottish Government wants more data before committing to an event which is three months away. Hampden is due to stage matches against Croatia and the Czech Republic.
Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman said on Wednesday: “Being part of the Euros for Scotland is a really big deal. The night we qualified was a cause of great celebration across the country and certainly in my own household. So I completely understand how important this is, what a great boost it is.
“If we can bring all of that together and the data continues to point us in the right direction, then we certainly should be able to celebrate our national team playing in the Euros, hopefully winning in the Euros, and we will see whether or not it’s possible at any point along that road for fans to actually be present to witness that.”
The Scottish Football Association said: “We remain in constant dialogue with UEFA and the Scottish Government regarding the co-hosting of the tournament in Scotland, given the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We will continue these discussions to ensure as many fans as possible can enjoy the four matches at Hampden Park.
“We also note UEFA’s restated commitment to holding Euro 2020 across the 12 European cities, with no other plans being pursued, and will continue to work towards UEFA’s submission deadline of April 7.”
Aberdeen-based virus specialist Professor Hugh Pennington urged the Holyrood government to give the go ahead to having some fans in Hampden.
“I’m surprised they’re being so cautious. All figures are going in the right direction for Scotland,” he said.
“If I was advising them I’d say go ahead and confirm it. The chance of getting infected with limited fans inside the ground and safety measures being followed are very low indeed.”