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We’ll fight to keep the Euro 2020 final at Wembley, insists Kit Malthouse

·2-min read
Football fans leave Wembley stadium after England's first Euro 2020 match against Croatia (Getty Images)
Football fans leave Wembley stadium after England's first Euro 2020 match against Croatia (Getty Images)

The Government is doing “as much as we possibly can” to ensure Wembley stages the Euro 2020 final, a minister said on Friday amid reports that 2,500 VIPs could be exempt from quarantine rules.

Home Office minister Kit Malthouse stressed that the UK wanted the tournament to carry on “as close to normality as possible”.

Final talks are taking place with Uefa about arrangements for the semi-finals and final to take place at Wembley despite reports that it could be moved to Budapest if the UK does not relax its border restrictions in place to combat Covid-19.

Allowing around 2,500 VIPs, including football top brass, sponsors and politicians, to fly in for the games will spark controversy given that Britons are currently grounded from going abroad on foreign holidays apart from to a limited number of “green list” countries.

However, “bubbling” and testing regimes are expected to be in place for VIPs coming to Britain for the final games of the tournament.

Mr Malthouse told Times Radio: “We are trying our best at this stage in the lockdown to enable things like the Euros, events like that, as much as we possibly can.

“While we accept the path of the virus is challenging at the moment, we want to try and make sure that this fantastic tournament is able to proceed as close to normality as possible.

“There will be a discussion with Uefa, no doubt sensible ministers will make a sensible decision.”

Ministers are confident that the final will be at Wembley despite the threat of a switch to Hungary, which will have no border restrictions for travel within the Schengen zone from next week and would host the games with full stadiums.

Uefa and Fifa officials, politicians, sponsors and broadcasters are expected to be exempt from having to self-isolate on arrival. Every national team competing at the tournament apart from red-listed Turkey is on the amber list with the exception of England, Wales and Scotland.

Wembley will be at 50 per cent of its 90,000-seater capacity for the semi-finals on July 6 and 7, as well the final on July 11.

On Friday Uefa said it is “delighted” that the capacity at Wembley will go up to at least half for the knock-out round matches.

A spokesman added: “We understand the pressures that the Government face and hope to be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion of our discussions on the matter.

“There is always a contingency plan but we are confident that the final week will be held in London.”

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