If the UK’s government won’t waive the travel restrictions for the 2,500 VIP attendants, there is a real chance that Hungary will be the host for the UEFA Euro 2020 Finals, due to restrictions being much more lenient here, The Times reports.
There were rumors before that Aleksander Ceferin, president of the UEFA, thinks that the UK’s travel restrictions are too harsh in relation to other European countries. Now the UEFA has taken the next step and has threatened the British government to waive its travel requirements for the final’s VIP attendants or they will move the final and the semi-finals to Budapest, as revealed by The Times.
The UEFA wants Boris Johnson’s government to fulfill its request that VIP guests, association staff, politicians, sponsors’ representatives, and broadcasters to be exempt from the 10 day long quarantine and be able to attend the knockout matches and meetings with the government.
According to The Times, the United Kingdom’s government is currently considering amending the law on border restrictions for VIP guests. However, they are concerned that it would cause public backlash in a country where millions of people are not able to go on holidays abroad. Moreover, the Delta variant of the COVID-19 poses a real threat for possible attendants and any ease on the restrictions would require a strict set of public health measures.
While the majority of people who received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine is significantly higher in the UK than in Hungary, travel and other restrictions do not reflect it. Hungary’s limitations are much more lenient, and, according to the Foreign Minister’s promise, even border restrictions inside the Schengen zone will be abolished from the 24th of June. The country is also much more flexible with foreign football fans, only requiring them to provide a negative PCR test made within 72 hours prior to travel.
Despite UEFA officials still holding out hope about holding the finals in London and no official response yet about the change of venue from Hungarian officials, Hungary would be a perfect fit to host the Final Fours. Puskás Arena, where the matches would be held, is the only sports arena of the EUROs that is operating at 100% capacity, while Wembley stadium can only hold 50%. The arena staff would be able to handle such a large event, just like the UEFA Super Cup Final last year September. Also, only 18,497 fans went to the England-Croatia match last Sunday which was far from the allowed capacity of 22,500 at the time for Wembley.
With Puskás Arena’s 100% capacity and Hungary’s less strict travel restrictions, it seems plausible that Budapest could deliver a better atmosphere and vibe for the Final Fours, something which the event really deserves.
Featured photo by Zsolt Szigetváry/MTI