EURO 2020: Does Boris Johnson want 90,000 fans at Wembley for final?
REVEALED: Having 90,000 fans at Wembley for England’s Euro 2020 final showdown with Italy HAS BEEN discussed in government, but officials are reluctant and only Boris Johnson’s intervention could make it happen
- Boris Johnson has reportedly refused to rule out a capacity crowd for the final
- Prime Minister attended England’s victory over Denmark last night at Wembley
- Sources spoken to by Sportsmail say it has been discussed but it is ‘very unlikely’
- It would now take an intervention from PM to secure a full Wembley on July 11
- Game comes eight days before Freedom Day, when social distancing will end
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Staging the Euro 2020 final in front of a full house at Wembley has come back under discussion in Government as England have romped through the tournament in stunning fashion.
Even before England’s extra-time victory over Denmark last night, in front of 60,000 fans, officials were considering increasing the capacity further.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was at Wembley last night, has reportedly refused to rule out a capacity crowd for the final, which will now be played between Italy and England in a mouth-watering encounter on Sunday July 11.
Harry Kane celebrates with team mates after scoring England’s second goal against Denmark sending the Three Lions into the final of Euro 2020 – the country’s first final for 55 years
The game takes place only eight days before Freedom Day on July 19, when all social distancing restrictions are set to be lifted under Government plans to move from step three to step four of its roadmap out of lockdown.
However, Sportsmail understands that officials are reluctant to push the stadium capacity higher than the current level, which was only agreed last month, and sources suggest an increase is ‘very unlikely’.
The Euro 2020 matches at Wembley, including the final, as well as other sports events such as Wimbledon and the Formula One Grand Prix, are allowed to host big crowds as part of the Government’s Event Research Programme to test the use of covid certification.
Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge and President of the Football Association, Peter McCormick, Interim Chairman of the Football Association, Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of United Kingdom and his wife, Carrie Johnson celebrates England’s victory after the UEFA Euro 2020 match between England and Denmark at Wembley
To increase the attendance to 90,000 would require approvals from the scientists, local authorities and Public Health England. In recent months, the authorities have highlighted the impact of very large events on public transport, as a cause for concern.
Those events that have been granted full capacity, such as Wimbledon’s Centre Court, which accommodates 15,000 and Lord’s, which will host a One-Day International between England and Pakistan on Saturday in front of 30,000 fans, operate at much lower numbers.
Other venues, such as Silverstone, which will host 140,000 fans for the Grand Prix, is a large open-air site in Northamptonshire, which does not rely on public transport. Most people travel by car.
Crowd of 60,000 watched England defeat Denmark at Wembley, – 50,000 home supporters
England fans inside Hanger 34 in Liverpool react to the winning goal during the Euro 2020 semifinal match between England and Denmark
‘It has been talked about, but we are not doing it,’ one government source told Sportsmail
‘I think it’s a no,’ said another source with knowledge of the discussions, but admitted ‘it is not impossible’.
It is understood there would be no problem selling the extra tickets, even at this late stage.
Consideration of whether to allow a full house at Wembley would involve a number of Government departments, including Health and Social Care, which has been cautious about the return of fans to stadiums throughout the long haul of the Covid pandemic, Culture Media and Sport, the Cabinet Office, which has presided over the trials of covid certification currently in place at Wembley, and Number 10.
Given the reluctance to give a green light to a capacity crowd, it would require the intervention of Mr Johnson for it to happen at this late stage. And the i newspaper reported today that the PM has not ruled out the possibility.
Traffic was stopped in central London after England’s biggest win for decades
‘There are big issues to overcome, but this week the prospect of England being in the final has been discussed,’ a government advisor told the paper.
‘Of course, there are issues over Covid and people being packed into Wembley, but there is also the view that hundreds of thousands of people will be out watching anyway and there’s nothing anyone can really do about that.
‘It’s by no means certain Wembley will be full for the final, but there’s a growing feeling that this could be a moment we cannot let pass. It cannot be rule out.
‘There’s also those who believe if Wimbledon can have capacity crowds and no social distancing, then why can’t Wembley if England are in the final.’
England manager Gareth Southgate celebrates wildly after England beat Denmark in the Euro 2020 semi-final at Wembley
The Government has steadily increased the capacity for Euro 2020 games throughout the tournament as part of the test events programme.
At the beginning of the tournament only 22,500 attended England’s group games, but this was increased to 45,000 for the 2-0 victory over Germany in the last-16 tie.
The capacity was increased further to 60,000 for the semi-finals and final and the Government had to bend Covid rules to accommodate 2,500 UEFA officials and sponsors after the European governing body raised the prospect that matches may be moved to another country with less strict quarantine rules.
Sportsmail contacted Number 10. A spokesman declined to comment.
Share this article
Source: Read Full Article