Seville has been confirmed as the replacement city for Bilbao for the 2020 European Championships, whilst St Petersburg will take over Dublin’s hosting duties for the upcoming tournament.
The four matches initially scheduled to take place in Bilbao, will be moved to the Estadio La Cartuja in Seville. The hosting of these matches will be supported by the Autonomous Community of Andalusia, which has confirmed its intention of allowing spectators at 30% of the stadium capacity for the three Group E matches and a Round of 16 match.
UEFA said it had made its decision after it became ‘clear that fans were very unlikely to be able to attend the matches’ in the Basque Country city, but came to a decision to move the fixtures to another venue in Spain to ‘allow fans to attend the games after a year of not being able to watch live football in stadiums.
Furthermore, the three Group E matches initially scheduled for Dublin will be reallocated to the Saint Petersburg Stadium, which is already hosting three Group B matches and a quarter-final.
Finally, the Round of 16 match initially scheduled in Dublin will be moved to Wembley Stadium in London, with the tie potentially involving England.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin, explained: “We have been working diligently with the host associations and local authorities to ensure a safe and festive environment at the games and I am really pleased that we are able to welcome spectators at all matches for a celebration of national team football across the continent.”
Luis Rubiales, President of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), highlighted the importance of Spain remaining as a host country for the continental tournament, after Seville was put forward as a potential replacement in April.
“UEFA wishes to express its appreciation and gratitude to the cities of Bilbao and Dublin – both of which are considered as good venues to host future UEFA events – the national and regional governments of Spain and the Republic of Ireland, and all local stakeholders for their dedication, professionalism and efforts over the past years.
“UEFA would also like to thank the Football Association of Ireland and its dedicated staff for their excellent collaboration and hard work, and is looking forward to continuing to work with the remaining eleven host associations in delivering UEFA Euro 2020 matches.”
Earlier today, reports emerged that UEFA was set to shun stadiums belonging to clubs that signed as founding members of the breakaway European Super League (ESL), with the governing body refusing ‘to line the pockets’ of the rebel clubs.