Euro 2020: UEFA awards compensation to Bilbao
The governing body of European football, UEFA, is preparing to pay compensation of 1.3 million euros to the Spanish city of Bilbao. In addition, Bilbao has also secured the accommodation rights for the 2024 Europa League final and the 2025 Women’s Champions League final.
Bilbao’s San Memes stadium was due to host three matches for Euro 2020 for the Spanish national team, but UEFA decided to change its plans as supporters would not have been allowed to enter the stadium during matches. All three matches were transferred to Seville by Luis Rubiales, the president of the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF).
Bilbao city council also warned to take legal action as they were dropped two months before the tournament. The council is said to have sought compensation in the amount of £ 1.2million, which was equivalent to the sum invested to host the games. UEFA’s offer in Bilbao has yet to be ratified by governing body committees. In a conversation with MARCA, Bilbao mayor Juan Mari Aburto insisted they would fight for compensation after UEFA announced unilateral termination of the agreement with Bilbao city council .
“We have worked in two directions, on the one hand for financial compensation and to take into account the fact that Bilbao is an attractive city for holding new events. We can say with great satisfaction that UEFA will compensate Bilbao for 1.3 million euros and that we will host two relevant and impactful finals in 2024 and 2025 in the city.
The announcement also reduces Ireland’s chances of hosting the Europa League final in 2024. The Irish Times also reported that the Irish FA are hoping to host the Europa League final in 2024, with Dublin also losing to Euro 2020 matches for similar reasons.
San Memes is the home of Athletic Bilbao in La Liga and the last European final to take place in Bilbao was the 1977 UEFA Cup final between Athletic Bilbao and Juventus. Last season, the stadium also hosted the preliminary matches for the UEFA Women’s Champions League finals.