No Plans to Move Euro Final Away from Wembley Despite Italian PM Plea

Mario Draghi advised against playing the Final Four of the Euro in London for COVID-related reasons. “I will take action in order to prevent it from taking place in countries with a considerable number of infections.” The United Kingdom is currently facing another wave caused by the Delta variant of the virus.

The Italian Prime Minister made his announcement in a joint-presser with Angela Merkel. It did not take long for the international federation to respond through a spokesperson: “UEFA, the English Football Association and the authorities are working closely together successfully to stage the semi-finals, and final of Euro in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue of those games.”

Rumors of a possible relocation began circulating in the American press a few days before Draghi’s statement. On the contrary, UEFA is now in talks with the British government about increasing the attendance of the London stadium to 65k fans, ESPN reported.

Gabriele Gravina, the president of the Italian FA, confirmed the notion: “There are not the conditions, from the organizational viewpoint, to move the final four to Rome or Budapest. The fact that Hungary allows full capacity with no masks is drawing a lot of attention, but also significant concern. We are trying to see what kind of effect it could have in the span of the next 15 days.”

English Health Secretary Matt Hancock reiterated that the Euro final would proceed as scheduled earlier this morning. Italy recently introduced a five-day quarantine for people coming from the United Kingdom to contain the spread. The measure will likely discourage fans from attending the matches. The Azzurri will face Austria at Wembley Stadium in the Round of 16 Saturday.