UEFA has turned down Israel’s offer to stage Euro 2020 games with fans, with the governing body committed to staging this summer’s tournament across 12 European cities as originally planned.
With the coronavirus pandemic still wreaking havoc globally, the threat of staging the already-delayed tournament without fans is becoming a real possibility.
Israel, who have a world-leading Covid vaccination programme in place and would be in a solid position to welcome spectators to games, have offered the use of three stadiums to stage matches while also offering a home for the final stages of the Champions League and Europa League.
However, in response to the Israeli FA’s offer, UEFA confirmed they intend to stick to their previously agreed schedule of playing games across the continent, despite ongoing travel restrictions.
Football’s European governing body said: ‘UEFA is committed to holding Euro 2020 across 12 European cities, according to the schedule agreed last summer. There are no other plans being pursued.’
No Israeli city was among the 12 that were originally selected to stage the tournament but the country’s FA confirmed they had reached out to UEFA in a bid to help host any of their international or club competition games.
A spokesperson for the Israel Football Association told City AM: ‘We did offer Uefa any assistance necessary.
‘We hope for all the Euro 2020 hosting, the national teams and clubs that it won’t be needed.’
The three stadiums that were offered up to UEFA were Jerusalem’s 34,000-capacity Teddy Stadium, the 32,000-seater Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, and the 29,000-strong Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.