UEFA discusses potential gradual return of fans

UEFA has met via videoconference with all 55 general secretaries of its member associations on Wednesday to discuss in particular the potential gradual return of fans to UEFA matches.

This meeting is part of the consultation process that UEFA is currently leading – also closely working with health authorities and governments – to study the feasibility and impact of a potential return of fans in stadiums as part of UEFA’s club and national team competitions.

Wednesday’s participants underlined the need for strict hygiene and sanitary measures to be in place to guarantee the health of all those present at a game before allowing fans to return.

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.

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.

The outcome of Wednesday’s discussions will be presented to the UEFA Executive Committee in the coming days for decisions to be taken on the matters discussed.