Dublin has been removed from the list of host cities for the European Championship because the government could not guarantee at least 25% fan capacity, and will instead be replaced with the Russian city of St. Petersburg. “It’s just too soon,” said Táinaiste Leo Varadkar.
Dublin was among three host cities – also including Bilbao, Spain, and Munich, Germany – which were given 4 days to clarify whether they could allow a minimum of 25% capacity of fans in the stands.
Speaking yesterday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said June was “too soon” to have fans in attendance at the Aviva Stadium.
“The last I heard was that the organisers [UEFA] were looking at us to commit to have at least 25% of the stadium full,” he said on Today FM this week.
“We’re cautious about that. We just think June is too soon. I think if they continue to insist on that, it will be hard for that to go ahead, which is unfortunate.”
As a result, Dublin is set to be replaced with Russia’s St. Petersburg, while Bilbao will be replaced with the Spanish city of Seville. Munich will retain its position as a host city.
“Seville and St Petersburg – officially!,” tweeted Zbigniew Boniek, a member of the UEFA executive committee.
Sewilla i San Petersburg- oficjalnie!!! 🇵🇱⚽️🇵🇱 Trochę pracy przed nami, zaczynamy od nowa- obóz, przejazdy, cała logistyka⚽️🇵🇱
— Zbigniew Boniek (@BoniekZibi) April 23, 2021
“There is a bit of work ahead of us…we start over – camp, journey and all the logistics.”
The Aviva Stadium had been due to host games involving Slovakia, Sweden, and Poland, but now these will be hosted in Russia. There was additionally a last-16 tie planned, but now this will take place in Wembley.
Individuals who had purchased tickets for the Dublin games have until Monday to claim their refund according to UEFA.
Whatever you think about European Championship games being lost, that the Irish government won't commit to having people sitting with three seats between them and the next person in 10 weeks time doesn't bode well for summer or rest or 2021 there.
Rest of continent is laughing.
— Ewan MacKenna (@EwanMacKenna) April 23, 2021