KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: European federation UEFA has batted away reports in Paris and Moscow that next summer’s rescheduled Euro 2020 finals will be staged in Russia.
The French newspaper Le Parisien had reported at the weekend that concerns about the complications arising out of the resurgence of the Covid-19 pandemic was threatening the unloved pan-European schedule for the finals in 12 venues across the continent in June and July.
UEFA president Aleksandr Ceferin has always stated that he and his executive committee would keep a careful watch on health restrictions across Europe with the staging of all its competitions – including Champions and Europa Leagues – in mind.
He had told media outlets: “For now we are planning exactly the same Euro as we have planned. […] So we don’t have any plan Bs for now. We will wait and we will see. We will monitor the situation.
“We are always concerned about the situation but we are absolutely sure that the EURO will be played. It has to be played; it can be played.
“The only thing is that we don’t know if it will be with part of the spectators, full stadiums or no spectators. That depends on the health situation, but sport and football have to go on.
“It’s important to show, again, that the world hasn’t stopped and that there’s some positive energy. And for sure, sports and emotions and national pride, which the Euro is about, bring hope and positive energy to people.
“For now, the plan is that we do it exactly as it is but I have to say that we could do a EURO, instead of in 12 countries, in 11, in eight, in five or in one country.
“So, we are still assessing the situation, we will see. We haven’t discussed any changes yet, but, for us, it’s very important to see how this health situation will develop, how travelling will develop and how governments will react. And then, we have time to do something.”