More than 60,000 fans will be permitted to attend the UEFA Euro 2020 semi-finals and final at Wembley Stadium next month, the UK Government has confirmed today (Tuesday).

The matches will form part of the Government’s ongoing Events Research Programme to assess the wider return of fans to venues across the country. The increasing attendance will see Wembley operate at 75% capacity for the semi-finals on July 6-7 and the final on July 11.

Wembley will stage its third Euro 2020 match tonight when England takes on Czech Republic, with around 22,500 fans to be in attendance – the same number that was permitted for the matches against Croatia and Scotland earlier in the tournament.

Wembley will operate at a similar capacity for its first Round of 16 match on Saturday, but it was announced last week that around 40,000 fans will be permitted for the second Round of 16 fixture next Tuesday, which will feature England if Gareth Southgate’s team finishes top of Group D.

Capacity will then rise to more than 60,000 for the semi-finals and final in what will mark the largest crowds at a UK sporting event in over 15 months. Fans will be required to show either a negative COVID-19 test or proof of full vaccination with two doses received 14 days before the fixture.

UEFA will communicate further details on ticket sales for the semi-finals and final in due course, but it is expected that UK ticket holders who lost their tickets for the matches in the re-ballot will be at the front of the queue.

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “We are thrilled that more fans will now be able to walk through the Wembley turnstiles and enjoy the finals of Euro 2020.

“As we continue to make progress on our roadmap out of lockdown, keeping the public safe remains our top priority. We have worked extremely closely with UEFA and the FA to ensure rigorous and tight public health measures are in place whilst allowing more fans to see the action live.”

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin added: “I am grateful to the Prime Minister and the UK Government for their hard work in finalising these arrangements with us, to make the tournament final stages a great success in Wembley.”

UEFA last week expressed its commitment to Wembley as the host venue for the semi-finals and final after a report in The Times suggested that the Government will agree to the governing body’s demands to waive quarantine restrictions for thousands of fans and VIPs seeking to attend the matches.  

With the exception of England, Wales and Scotland, every competing team at Euro 2020 is on the Government’s amber list concerning travel restrictions, which would impact on overseas fans travelling in for the tournament’s latter stages, as well as UEFA VIPs.

Budapest’s 68,000-seat Puskás Arena, which has been operating at full capacity during Euro 2020, had reportedly been lined up as a backup venue for the semi-finals and final should an agreement not be reached with the UK Government over quarantine exemptions, but today’s announcement appears to have confirmed Wembley’s status as host.

Image: Mitch Rosen on Unsplash