Azeri guarantee UEFA that Baku stadium can be at least 50% full for Euros

April 9 – With UEFA due to decide a list of venues for the delayed Euro 2020 tournament at their executive committee on April 19, Azerbaijan has guaranteed 50% of total fan attendance at Baku’s Olympic Stadium for this summer’s finals. 

In a statement, the Azeri FA (AFFA) said that half of the 68,700-seat Baku Olympic Stadium would be open to fans for each of the four Euro 2020 matches that it is scheduled to host. “The decision will apply not only to local fans, but also to citizens of the countries to which national teams participate in the matches (provided the relevant requirements for visas and coronaviruses are met),” added the AFFA.

The Azeri capital is set to play host to matches in Group A, with Wales and Switzerland meeting each other on June 12. Turkey are also due to play two matches at the venue that hosted the Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea in 2019.

With the attendance guarantee, the Azeri have become the latest host country to offer guarantees to UEFA, whose president Aleksander Ceferin had boldly said that he did not want any city hosting matches at the delayed Euro 2020 tournament if they could not guarantee fans before toning down that statement. Scotland, Netherlands, Italy, Denmark and Russia have previously said that they will allow fans at Euro 2020 matches though all now expect to be able to open stadium gates to some degree.

The pan-European tournament with 12 host cities, stretching from Dublin all the way to Baku and the Caspian Sea, was a brainchild of the former UEFA president Michel Platini, but the format has saddled current organizers with serious problems. The finals had been due to take place last summer but had to be delayed because of the global health crisis. They are now slated to kick off on June 11 with London’s Wembley hosting the final a month later. Portugal are the reigning champions.

Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1638841426labto1638841426ofdlr1638841426owedi1638841426sni@o1638841426fni1638841426