Euro 2020: Bilbao organizers react with fury after UEFA ‘abandons the city’ as one of tournament hosts | Football News
The Spanish city of Bilbao has said it has been withdrawn from this year’s European Championship after being unable to assure organizers it could accommodate enough fans at the stadium.
Bilbao authorities have confirmed that the city will miss the tournament from June 11 to July 11, after hosting Spain’s Group E games against Poland, Sweden and Slovakia, as well as a round of 16 match. .
UEFA must make a final decision on the hosting rights of Bilbao, Munich and Dublin, three of the 12 proposed venues for the tournament, on Friday as they seek assurances the trio will allow fans in in their stadiums for matches.
But the Bilbao authorities are furious and claim to have already received a letter from UEFA informing them of the decision to move the matches elsewhere.
A statement read: “Bilbao will not host matches at Euro 2020. However, we will not allow Bilbao or the Basque institutions to be taken for a tour.
“We are also not going to question the proven and long-standing experience and ability of the Basque authorities to manage and organize international events.
“We will not let any doubts persist about the approach to this project, in which over a period of more than six years, the Basque way of doing things prevailed: seriousness, consistency, professionalism and responsibility.”
Bilbao authorities said they are now seeking compensation from UEFA, adding in the statement: “We have defended San Mames as the host stadium and have worked tirelessly to host the Euro 2020 matches on the site, as contracted in 2014.
“We have strictly complied with each of the conditions and obligations indicated in the document signed by both parties, without any exception to the aforementioned conditions and obligations.
“For this reason, we have asked UEFA on several occasions in recent days to inform us in writing of the aspects of the contract that we have ceased to fulfill, on which they are basing their decision to withdraw Bilbao as host city from the ‘Euro 2020, and also where in the contract it allows to change the host city without consulting, establishing a dialogue and working alongside the current host city.
“We therefore believe that we have not received a convincing explanation. No such explanation exists.
“The contract between us, UEFA and the RFEF (Spanish Federation), as well as the official statement from UEFA, are already in the hands of the legal services to be studied and evaluated.
“This is to determine the compensation for the sums invested to date in the organization of the event, which amount to more than € 1.2 million, as well as the quantification of any damage caused by the said decision.”
The strict health protocols in the Basque region which have been defined as a prerequisite by the local government to allow supporters in the stands have been described by the RFEF as unrealistic.
The RFEF said last week that it would offer Seville’s La Cartuja stadium as an alternative venue for Euro 2020 matches if Bilbao were stripped of its matches – which did not impress organizers in Bilbao.
“It is clear that the unilateral decision taken by UEFA and the attitude of the current RFEF are not shared by the Basque institutions organizing the event in San Mames,” the statement said.
“We hold them directly responsible for the fact that we do not organize this sporting event and for the unilateral cancellation of our contractual relations and the financial compensation necessary for this reason.
“They will have to explain the reasons and what are the negotiations and the conditions – sanitary, economic and contractual – established with a new host city, which some parties are already arguing in a disrespectful manner, without an official meeting of UEFA not taking place. even takes place. “
Sky Sports News contacted UEFA for a response.
The nine venues that have so far been confirmed for Euro 2020, which was postponed and postponed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, have pledged to allow 25% stadium capacity, a number that authorities in Dublin and Munich are also fighting. match.
When and where is Euro 2020?
The 16th UEFA European Championship takes place from June 11 to July 11, 2021, and to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the tournament, 12 cities from the continent have been selected as hosts. The 12 cities and stadiums are:
- Amsterdam, Netherlands) – Johan Cruyff Arena
- Baku (Azerbaijan) – Olympic Stadium
- Bilbao (Spain) – San Mames
- Bucharest, Romania) – Arena Nationala
- Budapest, Hungary) – Puskas arena
- Copenhagen, Denmark) – Parken Stadium
- Dublin (Republic of Ireland) – Aviva Stadium
- Glasgow (Scotland) – Hampden Park
- London, England) – Wembley stadium
- Munich, Germany) – Allianz Arena
- Rome, Italy) – Stadio Olimpico
- Saint Petersburg (Russia) – Krestovsky Stadium
Rome’s Stadio Olimpico will host the opener on 11 June, while England’s Wembley National Stadium will host the semi-finals and final.
As a result of the pan-European staging, no nation was granted an automatic place, with all 55 teams participating in the qualification process.