Home Sport Irish and Spanish Cities Lose Euro 2020 Games Because of Coronavirus

Irish and Spanish Cities Lose Euro 2020 Games Because of Coronavirus


LONDON — Plans to play some matches in the European soccer championship this summer in Dublin and in Bilbao, Spain, have been abandoned after the local authorities were unable to guarantee that a sufficient number of fans could attend the games because of coronavirus restrictions, according to two people familiar with the matter.

Munich’s role in the tournament, called Euro 2020, was also in doubt, but its place was confirmed during an emergency meeting of members of the executive committee for UEFA, soccer’s governing body in Europe, according to the two people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information has not been made public yet.

A spokesman for UEFA declined to comment, but an announcement regarding the host cities was expected to come later on Friday. Representatives for the soccer federations in Ireland and Spain did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The tournament, which was postponed last year because of the coronavirus pandemic, is soccer’s No. 2 most-watched competition, after the World Cup, and is being played on a continentwide basis, in 11 cities, for the first time.

A final decision on the cities was originally expected to be taken earlier, but organizers gave cities more time to determine whether they could meet the cutoff for allowing fans, an essential requirement for UEFA despite the pandemic.