Euro 2020 ticketing mess leaves fans angry as stadiums reduce capacity
European football governing body has come under fire after fans hoping to attend Euro 2020 matches discovered their tickets had been canceled as stadiums had to cut capacity amid concerns over a new spread of Covid-19.
The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) sent emails to supporters informing them that their tickets have been canceled “under the voting process for matches where the number of tickets sold exceeded the new seating capacity allowed”.
One fan, Tom from Cambridgeshire, said: “Our family have been allocated tickets to England since 2019 and to have them pulled out at this late stage is really frustrating.
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“We have not received any specific details on how a voting process for previously awarded tickets would work, communication with fans has been shocking.”
George Hull, a travel insurance claims assessor from Hanham to Bristol, said his tickets to a semi-final at Wembley had been canceled.
He said: “It was pretty boring because they haven’t given final confirmation on how many they’ll have for the semi-final and the final.
“Looking now with what’s going on with the Indian variant, I can imagine it will be at the bottom of what they can have.”
The box office mess has led to speculation that European football chiefs are considering contingency plans to move the European Championship semi-finals and final to Wembley if social distancing restrictions persist in the UK after June 21 and that the stadium is not allowed to accommodate large capacity crowds during the flagship matches.
While the opening matches of the tournament were to be played in front of 25% capacity crowds in European stadiums, UEFA expected the semi-finals on July 6-7 and the final on July 11 to be played in front of 90,000 fans at Wembley.
Due to doubt over the lifting of social distancing restrictions in the UK, UEFA officials, who postponed the Euro 2020 tournament last year due to the pandemic, have reportedly launched plans to emergency to move the semi-finals and the final to another stadium. in Europe, if Wembley is prevented from allowing a sale of 90,000 for the flagship matches.
One option being considered would be the Krestovsky stadium in Saint Petersburg, the Russian authorities being convinced to allow at least 50% capacity on the 68,000-seat site.
Budapest’s Puskas Ferenc Stadium, which Hungarian authorities say will be able to operate at its full capacity of 68,000 during the tournament could be another possible venue for the final leg matches if Wembley is removed.
However, UEFA has denied that it will move the matches. A spokesperson said: “There are absolutely no plans to move any other matches in the Euro schedule.”
Last week Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said he was “confident” that capacity crowds will return to events next month, with some security measures in place such as masks and covid passports.
However, earlier this week the government said it may have to postpone its planned review of social distancing rules due to the threat of the Indian variant.
Ask by I whether it could rule out moving Wembley matches to a stadium in Europe which is allowed a larger crowd than Wembley, UEFA declined to comment.
When asked whether the delay in confirming the fourth stage of the roadmap meant a full house at Wembley during the euro was now unlikely, a spokesperson for Mr Dowden also declined to comment.