Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium has been cleared to welcome up to 25,000 fans for matches at the UEFA European Championships after the Danish government eased COVID-19 restrictions in the country.

The stadium’s capacity limit had previously been set at 15,900. The new 25,000 limit will come too soon for Copenhagen’s opening Euro 2020 match between Denmark and Finland on Saturday, but Denmark’s matches against Belgium on June 17 and Russia on June 21, as well as a Round of 16 fixture on June 28, will be able to go ahead at the increased capacity.

The Danish Parliament approved the capacity increases today (Thursday) as a number of other COVID-19 measures were eased, including the wearing of face masks and opening hours for bars and restaurants.

Up to 10,000 people will be permitted at public events from June 14, with an exception being made for Euro 2020 matches at Parken Stadium, which has a capacity of 38,000.

The Danish Football Association (DBU) has welcomed the easing of restrictions.

DBU chief executive Jakob Jensen said: “This summer’s European Championship finals are the biggest sporting event on Danish soil ever. That is why we have been working for more than a year to get as many fans as possible at the stadium, just as we have always aimed to distribute as many of the tickets as possible to our fans.”

The DBU noted that Parliament had asked the body to investigate the possibility of allowing 25,000 fans for Saturday’s match, but the quick turnaround needed to gain approval from UEFA and set up necessary COVID-19 protocols meant that this would not be achievable.

Jensen added: “We all want to get as many fans for the European Championship matches – as soon as possible. But the decision has been made so late that it is not possible to introduce the new framework for the match against Finland in just two days. 

“For that match, the distribution of the 15,900 is already in place so we cannot get 9,000 more fans in and still live up to the current rules. We will now work hard to get more people in the stadium for the other European Championship matches at the Parken.”

The DBU said it will announce how extra tickets for matches will be distributed once the capacity increase has been approved by UEFA.

Denmark’s domestic Superliga has not yet commented on the new capacity guidelines. Earlier in the week, the league released a study which it claimed proved matches can go ahead without social distancing and sectioned seating areas if fans use COVID-19 access passes to enter the stadium.

The study pointed to low infection rates among supporters who attended matches held between April 21 and May 28, when small numbers of fans were permitted. Of the 266,259 fans that attended 170 matches during this time, 60 cases of COVID-19 were found, according to the Danish Agency for Patient Safety.

Euro 2020 matches will take place in 11 cities across Europe: Copenhagen, London, Munich, Seville, Saint Petersburg, Rome, Budapest, Bucharest, Baku, Amsterdam and Glasgow. Fans will be in attendance at every venue, with capacity restrictions to vary depending on local guidelines.

Rome’s Stadio Olimpico will host the opening match between Italy and Turkey tomorrow (Friday), with around 14,000 fans expected to be in attendance.

Image: Leif Jørgensen/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size