UEFA are looking into the option of Russia hosting the delayed Euro 2020 tournament next summer in its entirety.
The European Championships were set to take place in 12 cities across 12 different countries back in June and July, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic the tournament was pushed back a year.
Countries across the continent are continuing to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, with partial or national lockdowns once more being imposed, UEFA’s hopes of hosting a European-wide tournament are quickly fading – Le Parisien reports.
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The host cities/countries had been the following, with two assigned per group:
- Group A: Rome (Italy) and Baku (Azerbaijan)
- Group B: Saint Petersburg (Russia) and Copenhagen (Denmark)
- Group C: Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Bucharest (Romania)
- Group D: London (England) and Glasgow (Scotland)
- Group E: Bilbao (Spain) and Dublin (Republic of Ireland)
- Group F: Munich (Germany) and Budapest (Hungary)
But the prospect of travelling between countries, in and out of nations with varying restrictions, is making it more likely one host will be picked for the tournament.
“From corroborating sources, one scenario in particular is being studied seriously: that of Russia,” Le Parisien reports.
General view outside the stadium after the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group A match between Russia and Egypt at Saint Petersburg Stadium on June 19, 2018 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Image credit: Getty Images
Russia hosted the 2018 World Cup and have “breathed its name in the halls of UEFA's Swiss headquarters” according to the French newspaper.
The nation has been experiencing more than 10,000 new Covid-19 cases per day since early October, while there have been more than 1.6m cases recorded and 28,473 deaths as on November 2.
Le Parisien adds: “The figures communicated by the Kremlin are regularly questioned. A point that could also weigh in the final decision to retain Russia or simply keep Saint Petersburg as the host city. In addition, the country's borders have been closed since March 18, but exceptions have been issued to sports teams.”
UEFA were contacted by Le Parisien, and though the governing body did not confirm anything, it will continue to monitor the health rules in each nation, while Azerbaijan’s current conflict with Armenia could see Baku removed as a host city.