UEFA decision on spectators’ return soon


UEFA tournaments back with fans Image: UEFA, footballtripper.com & portugaltravelguide.com

A clear picture will emerge by Thursday on whether spectators will be allowed to attend fixtures organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). The administrative body of association football will take a decision on the same at the Champions League draw in Nyon, Switzerland, on Thursday (tomorrow).

As per media reports, UEFA is advising on the return of spectators to the stadia fold for the Nations League, Champions League and Europa League as part of the Champions League draw on October 1st. The UEFA Supercup was held in Budapest (Hungary) between German professional sports club FC Bayern Munich based in Munich, Bavaria, and Spanish professional football club Sevilla FC based in Seville, Spain, in front of 15,000 spectators recently.

However, among national associations within UEFA there is discord over the return of spectators to venues.

Meanwhile, there is disagreement among national associations within UEFA. While the English FA – the governing body of association football in England – is not open to the idea of fans returning back to facilities, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) – the governing body of football in Italy – is comfortable with the idea of 40 percent utilization of the stadium capacity. In Bundesliga – the top German football league system – 20 percent spectators are allowed, while in France, the Government recently decided on an upper limit of 1,000 participants at major events.

Michael Zorc, Sports Director of German professional sports club based in Dortmund, Borussia Dortmund, told mediapersons that there is no legal basis for staging the games “if you have to play in a risk area during the week and the league operations are continued during the weekend”.

The German national team will be affected by the decision in the Nations League, first there will be an away game in Kiev (Ukraine) on October 10th and then a home game against Switzerland on October 13th. The DFB – governing body of football in Germany – had already asked UEFA for an exemption for an approval of 20 percent, but a decision is still pending on the same.

UEFA ended the final tournaments of the Champions and Europa League last season sans spectators, and the Nations League also had to start in front of empty stands in the beginning of September.

The UEFA Nations League is a biennial international football competition contested by the senior men’s national teams of the member associations of UEFA, the sport’s European governing body. The first tournament began in September 2018, following the 2018 FIFA World Cup™. The UEFA Champions League is an annual club football competition organized by the UEFA and contested by top-division European clubs, deciding the competition winners through a group and knockout format.

The UEFA Europa League is an annual football club competition organized by UEFA since 1971 for eligible European football clubs. Clubs qualify for the competition based on their performance in their national leagues and cup competitions.

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