Rome fall in line with UEFA ‘fans’ clause


Rome gets UEFA approval as host city for EURO 2020 Image: UEFA

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) received on April 14th from the Italian Football Association, confirmation from the Italian Government that the UEFA Euro 2020 matches scheduled for the Stadio Olimpico in Rome (Italy) will take place with spectators.

‘UEFA’ stated that the authorities have guaranteed at least 25 percent of the stadium’s capacity will be filled. As a result, UEFA considers Rome to be fully confirmed as a venue for the tournament.

The above development means that at least 18,000 fans will be able to attend games at the Stadio Olimpico.

‘UEFA’ further stated that fans with tickets for matches in Rome should note that there will be no exemptions granted to any travel restrictions that will be in place at the time, for people arriving from outside Italy.

The Union of European Football Associations is the administrative body for football, futsal and beach soccer in Europe. It is one of six continental confederations of world football’s governing body FIFA. UEFA consists of 55 national association members.

The UEFA Euro 2020 was postponed in March 2020 due to the global outbreak of coronavirus. As per the revised dates, it will be taking place from June 11th to July 11th, 2021.

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2020 or simply Euro 2020, is scheduled to be the 16th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

The Stadio Olimpico is the largest sports facility in Rome, Italy, seating over 70,000 spectators. It is located within the Foro Italico sports complex, North of the City. The structure is owned by the Italian National Olympic Committee and it is used primarily for association football.

The above announcement comes after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) President, Gabriele Gravina, called on the country’s Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, to make certain that Rome keeps its hosting rights to the national team tournament.

The Italian Football Federation, known colloquially as Federcalcio, is the governing body of football in Italy. It is based in Rome and the Technical Department is in Coverciano, Florence. It organizes the Italian football league and Coppa Italia.

UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin recently did a lot of tough talk asking all Euro 2020 host Cities to “allow fans into grounds or risk being dropped” – seeking stadium capacity guarantees from the 12 host Cities.

The home of Serie A (top Italian football league system) clubs S.S. Lazio and AS Roma is due to host Euro 2020’s opening match between Italy and Turkey on June 11th, along with the home nation’s two other group games and a quarter-final.

Reacting to the news, Gravina gave a pat on the back to Valentina Vezzali, the Italian Government’s Sports Undersecretary.

Enthused Gravina, “The OK from the Government to the presence of the public at the matches in Rome for Euro 2020 represents splendid news that we will immediately transmit to UEFA. The message that the Executive is sending to the country is one of great confidence and extraordinary vision. That Italy has courage, fights against the pandemic and at the same time works to restart safely according to a clear and defined program and calendar.”

Added Gravina, “I would like to thank Prime Minister Draghi and his Government, the Minister of Health (Roberto) Speranza, the City of Rome, with which we collaborate in a synergistic way, but above all Undersecretary Vezzali who immediately expressed her full support for the realization of this great event and in a few days has shown quality and determination by unlocking such an important dossier.”

Stated Minister Vezzali, “This result isn’t just for football, but all of Italian sport. It’s not opening a stadium, but a symbolic moment. It is the light at the end of the tunnel. We hope that June 11th can be the culminating moment of a process of rebirth for the entire sporting movement. We are also working to reopen sport, which is the sixth Italian industry. The gyms, swimming pools and all sporting centers are crucial for the mental and physical health of Italians.”

Rome, along with Bilbao (Spain), Dublin (Ireland) and Munich (Germany), was recently handed down an extended deadline of April 19th by UEFA to provide information on allowing onlookers to grace fixtures at the European Championship.

While the other eight Euro 2020 host Cities across Europe fell in line and provided details ahead of last week’s initial deadline of how COVID-19 restrictions will be eased to allow spectators into venues, the four remaining Cities need to deliver the necessary additional information to avoid losing hosting rights, with Rome the first to do so.

When coronavirus broke out globally in March 2020 and let hell loose on the world, UEFA decided to postpone the special edition of its flagship event by 12 months to June 11th to July 11th, 2021. Rome’s Euro 2020 announcement has also been welcomed by Lega Serie A, with President Paolo Dal Pino stating that he hopes it will translate to the fact that supporters can return to the top division of domestic football before the end of the current season.

Lega Serie A (Serie A League) is the governing body that runs the major professional football competitions in Italy, most prominently the Serie A. It was founded on July 1st, 2010.

Due to the coronavirus clobber which has also hit Italy very hard along with other European nations, fans have been locked out of Serie A stadia since October 2020. It is hoped that the 25 percent capacity guidelines can be introduced for the final two rounds of fixtures, but admitted this is unlikely at present.

Following a Lega Serie A shareholders’ meeting, Dal Pino commented on fan attendance at Euro 2020, “It is an important signal for the country, an injection of confidence and a return to normality that we hope will involve our games as soon as possible. Lega Serie A has already prepared a detailed protocol to reopen the facilities to the public, in total safety and protection for the fan, with gradually increasing (capacity) percentages. We expect that for future matches we will be able to return to hosting at least 1,000 spectators, a number equal to that with which we opened the season with the ability to guarantee ample spacing in outdoor facilities.”

Added Dal Pino, “By monitoring the progress of the pandemic, infections and vaccinations, I am also certain that for the last rounds of the championship Serie A can have stadium opening percentages identical to those guaranteed for European (Championship) matches. I welcome the Government’s decision to have the Olympic Stadium in Rome on the occasion of the next European Championship, a percentage of fans of 25 percent of the capacity.”

Amsterdam (Netherlands), Baku (Azerbaijan), Bilbao (Spain), Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Copenhagen (Denmark), Dublin (Ireland), Glasgow (UK), London (UK), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), and Saint Petersburg (Russia) are the host Cities for the Euro 2020 sporting extraordinaire.

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