Wednesday, 19 August 2020

UEFA considering using Super Cup as trial for fans back into stadiums

No repeat of 'Final Eight' in future - Uefa chief

 UEFA announced on Tuesday that the federation is considering using the Super Cup as a trial for allowing fans back into stadiums.

The federation is currently hosting both the Champions League and Europa League in neutral locations behind closed doors, as supporters are still not allowed to attend due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Europe's top leagues recently completed their domestic seasons without fans as well, although there have been friendlies in France with fans in attendance.

On Tuesday, UEFA hosted a videoconference featuring all 55 General Secretaries of its member associations with the key point of discussion being the potential gradual return of fans to UEFA matches.

With one eye on the 2020-21 season and another on the current status of the pandemic numbers, UEFA revealed on Tuesday that the federation could use September's Super Cup as a test run with a reduced number of spectators allowed to attend.

"Today’s participants underlined the need for strict hygiene and sanitary measures to be in place to guarantee the health of all those present at a game before allowing fans to return," the federation said in a statement.

"UEFA mentioned that it would be too early to already allow fans into the upcoming UEFA national team competitions matches to be played at the beginning of September and that test match(es) should take place to study precisely the impact of spectators on current medical protocols.

"UEFA suggested to use the UEFA Super Cup, which will be played on 24 September in Budapest, as a pilot match for which a reduced number of spectators could be allowed in."

The Super Cup is a match that features the winner of the Champions League taking on the winner of the Europa League, with Liverpool's victory over Chelsea serving as the most recent iteration.

This upcoming match will feature either Paris Saint-Germain, Bayern Munich or Lyon taking on either Sevilla or Inter at Puskas Arena in Budapest.

Originally scheduled to be played at the Estadio do Dragao in Porto, the match was relocated to the Hungarian venue after the remainder of the 2019-20 Champions League campaign was moved to Portugal in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

In addition to discussing the possibility of allowing fans back into matches, UEFA's meeting also focused on international matches, including the possibility that players would be travelling from countries that would force them to be quarantined upon arriving for international duty.

The federation is encouraging their representatives to approach their local governments to request exemptions, adding that the UEFA Return to Play Protocol would mean travelling players and staff would not present any danger to the rest of the local community.

Associations would also be permitted to move matches to a neutral venue in an effort to prevent games from being cancelled due to local restrictions.


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