Wembley capacity increased for Euro 2020 semifinals, final

Jun 22, 2021, 12:12 AM | Updated: 12:19 pm

LONDON (AP) — More than 60,000 fans will be allowed into the semifinals and final of the European Championship at Wembley Stadium after UEFA secured an agreement Tuesday with the British government on an increased capacity.

No details have been provided yet on how fans from overseas can potentially attend without having to quarantine after flying into London.

The government had already agreed to increase the current group-stage capacity of about 22,000 to at least 40,000 for one game in the round of 16 game and the final three matches of the Euro 2020 tournament at the 90,000-seat stadium.

Now Wembley will be allowed to be at about 75% capacity for the semifinals and final.

“The last 18 months have taught us — both on and off the pitch — how integral fans are to the fabric of the game,” UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said. “This tournament has been a beacon of hope to reassure people that we are returning to a more normal way of life and this is a further step along that road.

“I am grateful to the prime minister and the UK government for their hard work in finalizing these arrangements with us.”

Tourists from all the non-British nations competing at Euro 2020 have to quarantine for at least five days upon arrival in the country under general pandemic regulations to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

UEFA said last week it was in talks with authorities in London about allowing fans in by staying in the country less than 24 hours and staying within bubbles. UEFA is also seeking quarantine exemptions for VIPs, including representatives of sponsors.

There are fears Britain is seeing the start of a third wave of coronavirus infections with cases rising to 68,449 over the last seven days. The resurgence is the result of the highly contagious delta variant first identified in India, sparking concerns among European leaders about the growing crowds at Wembley.

“I hope that UEFA will deal (with this) responsibly and I don’t think it would be good if the stadiums there are full,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin.

Germany has a strict 14-day quarantine for people coming from Britain because of concerns that more cases of the delta variant could be imported, but other European Union countries allow travelers who are fully vaccinated to avoid quarantining.

To enter Wembley, fans have to produce a negative lateral flow test result or show proof they have been fully vaccinated.

Euro 2020 is seeing the biggest crowds at any event in Britain since the pandemic took hold in the country in March 2020.

___

More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

South Korea's Son Heung-min applauds the fans after losing 4-1 during the World Cup round of 16 soc...
Associated Press

South Korea looks to youth after World Cup loss to Brazil

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — South Korea lost in the round of 16 of the World Cup and then lost its coach. The team was beaten by five-time champion Brazil 4-1 on Monday. After the match, South Korea coach Paulo Bento announced that he was stepping down to end his four-year stint. The Portuguese coach said […]
1 day ago
Brazil's Neymar, from right, celebrates with team mates Lucas Paqueta, Raphinha and Vinicius Junior...
Associated Press

Brazil dancing again after big win at World Cup

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — The joy — and the dancing — are back for five-time champion Brazil at the World Cup. The big win over South Korea on Monday secured Brazil a berth in the quarterfinals in Qatar. It also restored the team’s confidence after a tumultuous start to the tournament in which the Seleçao […]
1 day ago
Paulo Dybala runs during a training session of Argentina's national soccer team in Doha, Saturday, ...
Associated Press

Paulo Dybala, the Serie A standout not needed by Argentina

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Paulo Dybala posted a photo of himself on Instagram laughing along with his Argentina teammate Lionel Messi, with the accompanying words: “We carry on with a smile! Let’s go.” Argentina might be getting ever closer to a place in the World Cup final but, on a purely personal level, the tournament […]
1 day ago
Maryland head coach Kevin Willard signals a play in to his team during the second half of an NCAA c...
Associated Press

No. 13 Maryland off to fast start with marquee games ahead

Kevin Willard believed his new Maryland team would get off to a good start. But this has been a bit more than even Willard expected early in his tenure after a successful run at Seton Hall. “I didn’t envision this,” Willard said. “I’m not going to lie.” The Terrapins (8-0, 1-0 Big Ten) made the […]
1 day ago
FILE - Wilt Chamberlain of the Philadelphia Warriors holds a sign in the dressing room in Hershey, ...
Associated Press

Analysis: In the NBA, 100 points no longer assures anything

If the NBA has a magic number, it’s 100. Wilt Chamberlain’s single-game scoring record. A perfect shooting percentage. And the rule pretty much seemed to be that if a team scored 100 points in a game, it probably was going to walk off the floor as a winner. Not anymore. Put simply, 100 doesn’t guarantee […]
1 day ago
Deion Sanders speaks after being introduced as the new head football coach at the University of Col...
Associated Press

Deion Sanders’ arrival swipes buzz from bungling Broncos

DENVER (AP) — Deion Sanders sauntered into the Arrow Touchdown Club for what felt more like an old-fashioned tent revival than a news conference to introduce the University of Colorado’s splashy new hire of “Coach Prime” as its new head football coach. At that very moment Sunday afternoon, the Denver Broncos were predictably blowing another […]
1 day ago
Wembley capacity increased for Euro 2020 semifinals, final