Plans to play some European soccer championship matches this summer in Dublin and in Bilbao, Spain, have been abandoned after the local authorities were unable to guarantee that a sufficient number of fans could attend because of coronavirus restrictions.
Munich’s role in the tournament, Euro 2020, was also in doubt, but its place was confirmed during an emergency meeting of members of the executive committee for UEFA, soccer’s governing body in Europe. The tournament, which was postponed last year because of the pandemic, is soccer’s No. 2 most-watched competition, after the World Cup. This summer it is being played on a continentwide basis, in 11 cities, for the first time.
Dublin and Bilbao were set to stage three group games and one round-of-16 match. Dublin’s group-stage schedule will move to St. Petersburg, Russia, which had already been selected to host four games. London’s Wembley Stadium, where the tournament’s semifinals and final will be played, will pick up Dublin’s knockout-round game.
Seville will take on the games slated to be played in Bilbao, despite opposition from the authorities in Bilbao, who said they would seek compensation from UEFA after working on hosting the tournament for six years.