06/10/2021 at 6:30 AM CEST
On March 17, 2020, with the coronavirus unleashed and the global pandemic taking its first steps, UEFA made the most sensible decision three months after the start of the European Championship. It was postponed until 2021. A decision after the provisional suspension of the national leagues and also followed by other competitions such as the Olympic Games that are also played, in Tokyo, within a couple of months. The world of sports stopped. The world in general did. Health always first.
A year and a little less than three months later, the ‘bug’ is still with us. Fortunately, in a more controlled way, nobody can let their guard down. The vaccine has arrived to try to recover a normality that we are getting closer and closer to. For example, the Eurocup will be able to count on an audience in each of the 11 venues that make up the 16th edition of the top national team tournament on the old continent.
It is the great novelty of this year’s format. It is the first time in history that there is no host country. The original plans had 12 venues. Two of the initials fell due to the coronavirus situation. Bilbao and Dublin. Spain was able to maintain its place with La Cartuja de Sevilla but the Irish fell off the list. St. Petersburg went from four games on its schedule to seven.
The rest of the cities in which this pandemic Eurocup will be played are Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, London, Munich and Rome.
Rome dresses up
The Italian capital will have the honors of raising the curtain on a European Championship that will open tomorrow with Italy-Turkey, with an Olympic stadium that can be accessed by 16,000 spectators, 25% of the total capacity. In addition, they will also place some screens located in the Roman Forum or in the Plaza del Popolo, in the heart of the Italian capital, which fans will be able to access.
The lucky few who got a ticket for the matches will have to show security officials a certificate of vaccination against the coronavirus, a negative test or a document that guarantees their recovery from the infection in the last six months. The new normal.
Precisely the vaccine has been on the agenda for the last few hours. UEFA decided to give the Federations freedom to vaccinate or not the players. The decision means that many of the teams have either not been immunized, or only the players who did agree with it have done so. Also cases of complete teams with the inoculated vaccine. Potpourri.
The group stage starts in 24 hours and will end on June 23. From France, there are no longer 16 teams that dispute the tournament but 24. The best two of the six groups and the four best third parties pass. This means that rooms are no longer directly accessible. There is a round of round of 16.
In addition, to fight against the covid and an infernal calendar that the players have suffered due to the pandemic, the national teams have been able to give lists of up to 26 players. Of course, only the 23 regulations may be summoned. Five changes can be made.