Uefa snubs Israeli offer to stage Euro 2020 matches and reaffirms commitment to 12 host nations
Uefa says it is not pursuing an offer from Israel to help with hosting Euro 2020 and European club competitions.
Israel’s world-leading Covid-19 vaccination programme means it would be well placed to welcome fans to matches.
The Israel Football Association confirmed it had offered Uefa the use of three stadiums for staging matches at this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 and the latter stages of the Champions League and Europa League.
The stadiums are the 34,000 capacity Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem, the 31,000-seater Sammy Ofer Stadium in Haifa, and the 29,000 capacity Bloomfield Stadium in Tel Aviv.
Israel has already dispensed 76 Covid-19 vaccination doses per 100 people; that is more than three times as many as the UK, which has the world’s third fastest programme.
No Israeli city was among the 12 originally selected to stage Euro 2020, which is due to take begin in June, a year later than planned.
“We did offer Uefa any assistance necessary,” a spokesperson for the Israel Football Association told City A.M. “We hope for all the Euro 2020 hosting, the national teams and clubs that it won’t be needed.”
What Uefa has said about Israel’s Euro 2020 offer
European governing body Uefa has already seen several fixtures in the Champions League and Europa League moved because of Covid-19.
Six English teams are playing matches at neutral venues due to difficulties travelling to and from certain countries.
The differing rates of vaccination further greatly complicate Uefa’s plans to stage Euro 2020 in 12 different countries.
Last month, leading German officials suggested Uefa was considering abandoning that model in favour of a single host nation.
Hosts, which include England, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland, have until April to present plans for accommodating supporters.
But in response to the Israeli offer, the governing body said: “Uefa is committed to holding Euro 2020 across 12 European cities, according to the schedule agreed last summer. There are no other plans being pursued.”