Impossible! Merkel ally urges UEFA to snatch Euro 2020 final away from England

Euro 2020: Host questions why Scotland 'aren't self isolating'

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German MEP Peter Liese, of the Chancellor’s CDU party, joined the chorus of politicians urging UEFA to move the matches from the UK. In a statement, he said: “Our health is priority. The spread of the Delta variant makes it impossible for 40,000 spectators to view the final match in London’s stadium.”

Mr Liese, a doctor and a member of the EU Parliament’s health committee, added: “The alternative venues should not be chosen by UEFA according to where the most spectators are allowed, but according to which stadium or city has the best hygiene concept and where health protection is best guaranteed.”

The German sent the same message in a letter to UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin, urging him to choose an alternative location for the final based on public health.

He said Budapest should not be considered because it is the only European capital hosting the tournament that has allowed full capacity at its stadium.

Asked about the final yesterday, Mrs Merkel didn’t call for the match to be moved but slapped Uefa with a warning.

The German Chancellor said: “The UK is a virus variant area, which means we will impose a 14-day quarantine on anyone who travels back from the UK.

“There are very few exceptions to that.

“And I hope that UEFA will handle this responsibility, and I wouldn’t think it would be a good thing if there were full stadiums there.”

Italian prime minister Mario Draghi issued a similar warning to Uefa over holding the final at Wembley.

He called for the match to be moved to Rome, rather than a “country where infections are rising quickly”.

Asked if he was in favour of moving the final, the Italian PM said: “Yes… I will work to make it happen in a country where new coronavirus infections are not on the rise.”

The Government has dismissed European efforts to shift the semi-finals and final away from Wembley.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock said: “I think these Euros are going very well and the final is set to be at Wembley.

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“We’ve got a great setup.”

Asked about Mr Draghi’s comments, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said: “That’s a matter for the Italian prime minister.

“We’re looking forward to hosting a fantastic semi-final and final at Wembley, and will do so safely and securely.”

More than 60,000 fans will be allowed into Wembley for the semi-finals and final.

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Wembley will be allowed to open up to 75 percent of its 90,000 capacity for the three matches after a deal was struck between the Government and Uefa.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We are thrilled that more fans will now be able to walk through the Wembley turnstiles and enjoy the finals of Euro 2020. As we continue to make progress on our roadmap out of lockdown, keeping the public safe remains our top priority. We have worked extremely closely with Uefa and the FA to ensure rigorous and tight public health measures are in place whilst allowing more fans to see the action live.”

Uefa president Mr Ceferin, added: “I am grateful to the prime minister and the UK government for their hard work in finalising these arrangements with us, to make the tournament final stages a great success in Wembley.”

The World Health Organisation has expressed concern over host cities easing their coronavirus curbs.

Robb Butler, an executive director at the WHO’s Regional Office for Europe, added: “COVID-19 cases are already on the rise in the area where matches will be held.”

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