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Exclusive English FA set to be given green light by UK government to host Euro 2020 finals

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LONDON - JUNE 02:  Generic views of Wembley Stadium ahead of the Charity Celebrity Football Match against a team of Nationwide Customers at Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2007 in London, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

LONDON - JUNE 02: Generic views of Wembley Stadium ahead of the Charity Celebrity Football Match against a team of Nationwide Customers at Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

LONDON - JUNE 02: Generic views of Wembley Stadium ahead of the Charity Celebrity Football Match against a team of Nationwide Customers at Wembley Stadium on June 2, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

The English FA have been given the green light by the UK government to stage every game of the Euro 2020 finals this summer is asked to do so by UEFA, the Sunday World has been told.

UEFA have stated that they are still currently planning to host the delayed Euro 2020 finals in 12 cities across Europe, with Dublin set to host four matches at the Aviva Stadium.

Yet there are ongoing concerns within the UEFA hierarchy that their ambitious plans to continue with the multiple host plan is unrealistic with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The 24-nation showpiece was postponed by 12 months amid the global pandemic, with UEFA increasingly hopeful the tournament can take place this summer amid vaccine roll-outs across Europe.

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin is hoping vaccination programmes will be the key to sticking to the original plan, but we understand the English FA are ready to step in and host additional matches if needed.

With the UK several stages ahead of other European nations in their vaccination roll-out after they opted out of the collective EU programme, all Covid-19 restrictions are due to be lifted in the UK on June 21st.

Now plans are in place to lift restrictions in the UK in spectacular fashion this summer, with the European Championships and the Wimbledon tennis tournament seen by government officials as the ultimate window to highlight to the world that the country is open for business once again.

The Sunday World has been told by the leader of a major sporting organisation in the UK that plans are being hatched for several 'test events' to be sanction for crowds to attend by the UK government before that date, with the FA Cup final in May and the major tennis tournament at Queen's Club in June among those under discussion.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is 'enthusiastic' about the plans for Euro 2020 and Wimbledon, with crowds expected to be present so long as there is no spike in Covid-19 cases as the UK heads through their four stage plan to lift all restrictions by mid-June.

The re-scheduled Euro 2020 tournament is set start on June 11th and there is a possibility that matches in the competition could be given 'test event' status to allow crowds to attend.

UEFA are keen for fans to attend all matches and that appears to be unlikely in several of the proposed host cities, the option of moving the event to one country is now under consideration.

The UK government are currently confident that crowds can gather for their summer of sport, with Wimbledon tennis chiefs currently making plans for an event that could feature full stadiums and there are also hopeful that the finale of the European Championship finals will be played in front of packed stadiums at Wembley.

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Questions marks still hang over Euro 2020 ahead of this summer. Photo by UEFA via Sportsfile

Questions marks still hang over Euro 2020 ahead of this summer. Photo by UEFA via Sportsfile

Questions marks still hang over Euro 2020 ahead of this summer. Photo by UEFA via Sportsfile

The option of playing all matches in the UK would appear to reduce the risks for UEFA of Covid-19 outbreaks in the 12 countries currently preparing to host matches, with the infrastructure, stadiums and training facilities in place for all 24-national teams to gather in England, with Wales and Scotland also mentioned a possible host venues if required.

However, the prospect of thousands of fans flying into England to attend matches is still something of a sticking point for the UK government as they fear such a prospect would attract public criticism.

For now, UEFA are publicly insisting they are pressing forward with plans for their original 12 city event, even though Israel has also offered to host the entire tournament as they edge towards the end of their world-beating vaccination programme.

In response to Israel’s offer, UEFA said: “The Israeli FA did offer their facilities should UEFA need them this year.

"However, UEFA fully intends that all its events (including club finals and Euro 2020) will be staged in their intended venues and is working hard with its partners and stakeholders to secure that."

London, Glasgow, Dublin, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, St Petersburg, Bilbao, Munich, Budapest, Baku, Rome and Bucharest are scheduled to host matches, with the final at Wembley on July 11.

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Southgate missed the decisive penalty as England were knocked out of Euro 96 at Wembley (PA Archive)

Southgate missed the decisive penalty as England were knocked out of Euro 96 at Wembley (PA Archive)

Southgate missed the decisive penalty as England were knocked out of Euro 96 at Wembley (PA Archive)

England last hosted the European Championship finals in 1996, when a successful event was won by Germany after they beat the host nation in the semi-finals.

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