European football’s governing body is working on a plan to ensure that every match at this year’s delayed pan-continental Euros will be staged in front of fans.
Held over from 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic this summer’s championship is due to be held in 12 different countries.
According to UEFA, if a host city insists on hosting a match behind closed doors, they will chop and alter the venues.
UEFA told AFP on Wednesday that if a city imposes a “no spectators” situation, the matches scheduled for that city “could” be relocated “to cities that would welcome supporters.”
Aleksander Ceferin, the federation’s president, told Croatian newspaper Sportske Novosti on Sunday that the event will not be held “in front of empty stands.”
“Every host most guarantee the presence of fans”, he said.
Whilst the prevalence of ultra-contagious variants of Covid-19 rule out any easing of restrictions, a ‘fans are obligatory’ criteria could see the tournament reduced to being held in “10 or 11 countries”, Ceferin indicated.
Prior to an executive committee meeting on April 19, on the eve of the federation’s annual congress in Montreux, host cities have until April 7 to notify UEFA of their attendance estimates.
Though complicated, the multi-venue format allows organizers to work with problems that arise as a result of the pandemic.
“If we can no longer do anything in one country there are still 11 others where preparations are already in progress,” UEFA’s health advisor Daniel Koch told AFP at the start of the month.