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decision time Dublin 'in danger' of losing Euro 2020 games as UEFA weigh up alternative options

Euro 2020 matches could be moved to England


Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Aviva Stadium in Dublin. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Dublin is in danger of losing the four Euro 2020 matches set to be staged in the city this summer, with UEFA also considering axing Bilbao and Glasgow from their list of potential venues.

European football chiefs at UEFA are keen to have spectators at every Euro 2020 game this summer, with the tournament set to go ahead after it was postponed last summer due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yet Dublin, Bilbao and Glasgow are currently unable to provide those assurances, sparking suggestions that matches could be moved to alternative locations.

The Sunday World reported earlier this week that the English FA have made tentative plans to host additional Euro 2020 matches, with the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirming his government would back an expanded schedule of fixtures to be moved to England a day after our story.

Now it has emerged that UEFA have growing doubts over three potential host cities, with Scottish health secretary Jeane Freeman stating any hopes Scottish fans had of travelling to watch their side taking on England at Wembley in June remains in their hands.

"It up to all of us to abide by the rules, doing everything we can to make sure that the case numbers come down, to make sure the virus is suppressed," she stated.

"We try very hard, every step along the way toward that date in the summer, that we’re trying to do everything we can to make sure that the virus has no opportunity to transmit from one person to another and when we are, as adults, called for that vaccination appointment we take that up.

"Our intention is, supplies allowing, that we will have vaccinated every adult over the age of 18 in Scotland by the end of May.

"That is a really important and hopeful target to aim for, so if we can bring all of that together and the data continues to point us in the right direction, then we certainly should be able to celebrate our national team playing in the Euros – hopefully winning in the Euros – and we’ll see whether or not it’s possible at any point along that road for fans to actually be present to witness that."

The BBC and Associated Press are now reporting that UEFA will consider moving games from Dublin, Bilbao and Glasgow unless assurances over spectator attendance can be provided, with Tottenham's new stadium mentioned as a possible venue for games.

"The public health advice is that it is too early to say how and when these restrictions should be eased given current uncertainties," the Irish government said in a statement to the AP.

"At the request of UEFA, Dublin’s hosting partners are examining possible scenarios for staging the games scheduled for Dublin in this COVID-19 environment.

"We are in constant dialogue with UEFA and our intention is to work to finalize our best possible scenario consistent with public health guidelines."

UEFA are keen to make decisions imminently to allow alternative arrangements for matches, with the hope of seeing Euro 2020 games in Dublin this summer now in serious doubt.

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