Euros format ‘set to be changed as UEFA accept tournament across 12 host cities will be prove difficult due to Covid-19 with just one country hosting the postponed competition an option’
- Baku in Azerbaijan and St Petersburg are grounds in UEFA’S firing line to be axed
- Athletic Bilbao’s San Mames could be scrapped after struggling to sell tickets
- At worst, one country will host Euro 2021 with four venues being used for games
- Wembley is due to stage seven games including at least three England fixtures
Uefa chiefs are planning to axe some of the venues that are currently scheduled to host games at Euro 2021, according to reports.
The tournament was due to take place in 12 different cities across 12 UEFA countries in June this year before it was put back until 2021 because of coronavirus.
But according to The Sun, Uefa have now accepted it is now not feasible that the tournament will be allowed to go ahead with the planned dozen host cities due to the pandemic, and some venues will therefore have to be cut.
Striker Harry Kane and his England team are set to compete at the Euros next summer
Uefa chiefs including president Aleksander Ceferin are to scrap some venues for Euro 2021
Uefa accept 12 host cities – which includes London and Wembley Stadium – is now not feasible
And the report claims that Baku in Azerbaijan – currently in the midst of a conflict with Armenia – plus St Petersburg in Russia will be among the first to be scrapped, while Athletic Bilbao’s San Mames could also be dropped after struggling to sell tickets.
Wembley is due to host England’s three group games, plus a last-16 clash, both semis and the final, and the report adds at worst, one country will stage the entire tournament with four venues being used.
The competition is however certain to go ahead, with Uefa set to receive millions from TV companies broadcasting the fixtures.
The governing body is hopeful supporters will be able to attend in some capacity, but venues are in the firing line to ensure as little travel as possible is undertaken by fans.
The Baku Olympic Stadium is set to be one of the venues that is axed by the governing body
However, the news comes after the UK Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden admitted seven matches due to be staged at Wembley next summer could be cancelled because of coronavirus.
‘I very much hope so,’ he told The Sun when asked whether the Euros will be staged in June.
‘But, given this virus and the unpredictability of it, I can’t give a cast iron assurance.
‘Fans wouldn’t want it to go ahead if it wasn’t safe to do so. But if it is safe to do so, then, of course, we will work to achieve that.
The Gazprom Arena in St Petersburg is also set to be scrapped as a venue for Euros fixtures
‘We’re planning on that basis, but this disease is with us this winter. In making decisions on this I’m going to be driven by the health first.’
England are due to take on Croatia on June 13, the winner of play-off C (which could be Scotland, Israel, Norway or Serbia) on June 18 and the Czech Republic on June 22.
Euro 96 was the last time the country hosted major tournament matches which fans attended in their droves as the Three Lions made it all the way to the semi-finals.
Athletic Bilbao’s San Mames could also be axed following the struggle to sell tickets there