The chants of ‘It’s Coming Home’ tremored throughout Italy where England battered a depleted and tired Ukrainian outfit 4-0. ‘Shawberto Carlos’, Luke Shaw’s latest nickname demolished the rivals with his exceptional defending and attacking capabilities while Harry Kane struck twice to conquer the Ukrainian challenge. With the semi-finals and the finals being organised at the prestigious Wembley Stadium, different dignitaries throughout the world have questioned the nation’s capacity of hosting the tournament considering how covid negatively affect the Euro 2020.
⏰ RESULT ⏰
What. A. Performance.
🏴 Kane (2), Maguire & Henderson net in Rome as England reach EURO 2020 semi-finals 👏
🇺🇦 Ukraine suffer defeat in first EURO quarter-final.
Sum up this knockout tie in one word 👇#EURO2020
— UEFA Nations League (@EURO2024) July 3, 2021
Britain recently opened the doors for fans during live sporting events and that too with a fixed capacity. But with Euro 2020 being a carnival of football, the starving fans would pour in at Wembley showing their support for the ‘Three Lions’ in the semi-finals and most probably in the showdown too.
THE PROBLEMS FOR FANS
The fact that a Covid-struck Venezuela had to field their B-team against reigning champions Brazil in the Copa America spoke volumes about the pandemic’s effect on a major tournament. After juggling between different hosts, Brazil was given hosting rights. A country battling covid, every game in Brazil was a covid-19 pond where teams had two rivals rather than one.
Although the situation in Britain is head and shoulders above other European countries, Boris Johnson’s government could come under the radar if the 3 Euro matches ignite another wave of the covid virus. The pandemic has forced the world to stay inside and the fans are dying for some live action. The Premier League endgame rarely allowed fans in the stadium because the situation wasn’t under control.
But a sensitive situation shrouds the world, with a predicted third wave ready to increase the ‘Work from home’ motto, the Euro 2020 knockout matches at Wembley with billions of unmasked fans is a direct feast for the covid pandemic.
Lastly, a few surveys conducted in a few host countries have hinted towards the negative effects of hosting a Euro 2020 match. With an army of fans darting inside stadiums, celebrating their team’s goals, or enjoying the stadium’s vibration, the summer jamboree is an ideal celebration place.
The Three Lions welcomed Scotland a few days back in a jaw-dropping fixture in the group stages. After the stalemate at Wembley, Public Health Scotland reported approximately 2000-2500 cases related to the fixture. The travelling Scottish and English fans had come in contact with the virus and had to be quarantined for a while to reduce the introduction of a new variant in Scotland.
In a petition to the leader of the Euro House French government minister Pascal Canfin urged UEFA and UK regulators to reevaluate having the knockout stages of Euro 2020 in England, labelling the move to raise audience occupancy “a recipe for disaster.”
The Delta variant entered the country a few weeks back and has raised a few eyebrows in the country. With cities like Kent and Coventry already battling the virus, the French minister has already heard the city of London screaming in terror.
The huge rise in cases of the Delta variant across the UK proves that this virus is still a huge threat. If you haven't had your vaccine, please don't delay any further and book your slot today. It's the safest way to protect yourself and those around you.
— Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (@MayorofLondon) June 17, 2021
Complaints dropped in from Italy as well. The Prime Minister of Italy highlighted the implications of England holding the tournament decider and how it could trigger a new pandemic in Europe.
Draghi voiced his opposition to the prestigious final taking place in London “where contagions are growing rapidly” on June 21.
“Weekly cases in England are up 74% on the previous seven days, while the number of people admitted to hospitals in England with Covid-19 has risen by 55% over the last week,” the British Medical Association said in a press release on Saturday.
With England registering their most cases since the first month of 2021, the Euro 2020 showdown at Wembley has come under the scanner due to covid playing spoilsport.
UEFA’S TAKE ON THE SITUATION
Although with the cases rising, UEFA hasn’t been looking for an alternative venue. They believe it’s in Boris Johnson’s hands and the Prime Minister will implement the perfect measure to prevent the latest variant from spreading.
“The mitigation measures implemented in each of the UEFA Euro 2020 host venues are fully aligned with the regulations set out by the competent local public health authorities.
“The final decisions with regards to the number of fans attending matches and the entry requirements to any of the host countries and host stadiums fall under the responsibility of the competent local authorities, and UEFA strictly follows any such measures.”
Catherine Smallwood, senior health emergency officer for the World Health Organization, explained: “What we need to look at is around the stadia — how are people getting there? Are they travelling in large, crowded convoys of buses? Are they taking individual measures when they are doing that?
Smallwood questioned what happens when peiple enter “crowded bars and pubs to watch the matches,” suggesting when people socialized with others, “there will be cases.”
Dr Daniel Koch explained that the magnificient vaccine systems established in Europe “will help ensure that no new big wave will start in Europe and put pressure on the respective health systems, as was the case during the previous infection waves.”