Wednesday August 19 2020
UEFA Super Cup 'pilot' for letting in fans

UEFA have confirmed the European Super Cup on September 24 in Budapest can be a test for reintroducing fans after the COVID-19 lockdown, but there is the option for asking a match to be moved to a neutral venue.

Practically all games have been played behind closed doors since early March, when the pandemic began to really spread in Europe.

As the lockdown measures ease to differing degrees in various countries, UEFA held a videoconference call with all 55 General Secretaries of its member associations to “discuss the potential gradual return of fans to UEFA matches.

“UEFA mentioned that it would be too early to already allow fans into the upcoming UEFA national team competitions matches to be played at the beginning of September and that test match(es) should take place to study precisely the impact of spectators on current medical protocols.

“UEFA suggested to use the UEFA Super Cup, which will be played on 24 September in Budapest, as a pilot match for which a reduced number of spectators could be allowed in."

That match is between the winners of the Champions League and the Europa League victors.

“The issue of quarantine for players was also discussed, in particular for national team matches where players coming from foreign clubs might be at risk of quarantine measures upon their return to their country of residence.

“Associations were encouraged to approach their governments to seek exemptions for players and team members (so-called international corridors which already exist in several countries). The fact that players will anyway be regularly tested as part of the comprehensive UEFA Return to Play Protocol should ensure that such exemptions do not represent any risk for society. It was also underlined that such international corridors would greatly simplify the organisation of matches.

“Associations would also have the option to ask for a match to be moved to a neutral venue if current domestic conditions could put the staging of the match in jeopardy.”

This last point is what Napoli had tried to do for the Champions League Round of 16 second leg tie in Barcelona, but were told the conditions in Spain were not so serious as to request a change of venue.

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