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Dublin Euro 2020 games thrown into doubt after Irish FA refuses to commit on crowd numbers

Dublin Euro 2020 games thrown into doubt after Irish FA refuses to commit on crowd numbers
The Irish FA has notified UEFA that it cannot provide assurances on minimum spectator levels for Euro 2020 matches set to be held in the capital Dublin.

"The Football Association of Ireland, on advice and guidance from the government, has today notified UEFA that owing to the Covid-19 pandemic it is not in a position at this point to provide assurances on minimum spectator levels at the Euro 2020 matches due to be held in Dublin in June," said the FAI. 

Simultaneously, its Scottish counterpart has reportedly told the European governing body that it can welcome a capacity crowd of up to 25% at Hampden Park for games in its flagship international tournament. 

This would result in a crowd of around 12,000-13,000 fans being able to watch the action in the Glaswegian ground.

Elsewhere on the continent, similar numbers passing the turnstiles have been suggested in Amsterdam in Holland and Bilbao in northern Spain.

The Irish announcement means UEFA will now have to decide whether to allow the Irish FA more time to ascertain crowd numbers, or allocate the venue's four matches to one of the other 12 host cities for the pancontinental tournament. 

Elsewhere, St. Petersburg in Russia has said it is expecting to allow a capacity of 50% for the four matches set to take place in the city.  

Following the conclusion of an Organizing Committee meeting at the end of last month, its chief Alexey Sorkin said: “The Organizing Committee has supported the idea of implementing the basic scenario which includes filling 50% of the stadium with spectators.

The city and the Committee have been working on a notification which will be sent to UEFA before April 7. UEFA should deliver its verdict on April 9. We don’t expect it to cut the limit on spectators, as that is the hosting city’s prerogative. So, we think it will approve the plan,” it was added.

Also on rt.com Russia’s Euro 2020 organizing bosses approve 50% stadium capacity in St. Petersburg

But whether fans can attend or not, not every host city is thrilled to be receive the competition. 

Last month, a Basque derby between Athletic Bilbao and Eibar in La Liga was halted by the interference of a drone containing an orange protest banner. 

Rather than being pandemic-related, however, it was rumored to be the work of separatist groups that do not do not want the Spanish national team to step foot on Basque soil for the first time since 1967 by playing all three of their group games at San Mames. 

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