There will be around 65,000 fans at Wembley Stadium for the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 this summer, despite calls from the Italian Prime Minister for the showpiece to be moved away from England due to Covid-19 fears.
The Times reports that a deal is very close to being reached between the UK government and UEFA for the 90,000 capacity stadium to be over two-thirds full for the final three games of the tournament.
Discussions have been ongoing regarding quarantine exemptions for UEFA officials and VIPs and for allowing fans to arrive from overseas.
A government source told Sky: ‘We’ve had a number of productive discussions with UEFA and are finalising arrangements with them. ‘We look forward to hosting the matches as planned with a large number of fans. An announcement will be made shortly.’
This is despite Italy’s PM, Mario Draghi, calling for the final to be moved from London to Rome due to the rising number of coronavirus cases in England.
‘Yes… I will try to stop the final being held in a country where infections are rising quickly,’ Draghi said.
‘I advocate that the final should not take place in a country in which the risk of infection is very big.’
Italy reported just 495 new coronavirus cases on Monday compared to the UK’s 10,633. However, there were 21 coronavirus-related deaths in Italy on Monday compared to just five in the UK.
The semi-finals are to be played on 6 and 7 July, with the final on Sunday 11 July.
The quarter-finals are held across Europe, taking place in Saint Petersburg, Munich, Baku and Rome with last 16 games also held in Amsterdam, Budapest, Seville, Copenhagen, Bucharest and Glasgow.