St. Petersburg hopes for half-full stadium at Euro 2020

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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia (Reuters) – The Russian city of St. Petersburg is aiming to fill its stadium hosting European Championship soccer matches to half capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the local organising committee said on Wednesday.

St. Petersburg is set to host four matches, including a quarter-final, at the 24-nation tournament kicking off in June after it was postponed by a year because of the outbreak. 

“The (COVID-19) situation in St. Petersburg and in Russia overall looks fairly good,” Alexei Sorokin, head of the local organising committee, told a news conference to mark 100 days before the month-long tournament kicks off on June 11. 

“We are looking at the development of the epidemiological situation with cautious optimism. This gives us the right to hope for the stadium to be filled at 50% capacity.”

Sorokin added that a final decision on stadium capacity would be taken by UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, next month.

Dr Daniel Koch, UEFA’s medical advisor on Euro 2020, told Reuters last month that the likely percentage of stadium capacity could be higher than 30%.

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