News : EM 2021 in Munich: 14,000 spectators allowed in the stadium – Munich
The selection of the German Football Association (DFB) has already booked its first success at the upcoming European Championship. “We all hope that we are not the only city that will play without spectators,” said DFB director Oliver Bierhoff on Friday a week ago when the team was in Seefeld / Tyrol to prepare for the June 11th to July 11th tournament hit. This hope has now been fulfilled by Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) when he announced on Friday after a cabinet meeting that 14,000 visitors would be admitted to the four European Championship games in Munich.
Until then, it was uncertain whether, due to the Corona restrictions that still apply until Monday – the so-called Infection Protection Measures Ordinance in official German – the audience will be allowed into the arena, the only German venue at the EM, which is held in eleven countries. “I am pleased that it is now finally clear that the Munich Games can take place with spectators in the stadium,” said Mayor Dieter Reiter (SPD), who could not resist a tip in the direction of the state government: “For everyone involved, however, an earlier one would be Decision was helpful. “
The first round game of the DFB selection against world champions France is already scheduled for June 15, so in ten days. This is followed by games against European champions Portugal (June 19) and Hungary (June 23) and a quarter-finals on July 2.
At the other ten venues for the European Championship, the audience capacity had long been clarified: In Budapest, a full stadium is planned (67,215 spectators), in Baku and St. Petersburg at least a half-full one (around 34,000 each). All other locations had promised the organizing European Football Union (Uefa) an occupancy rate of at least 25 percent. In Amsterdam, the number of spectators has increased from 12,000 to 16,000 this week, to a third of the capacity, after the corona situation there has eased.
Because this is also the case in Bavaria, the state government is now also opening the stadium gates, admittedly not as far as elsewhere. Only 20 percent of the seats available at international games should be occupied. “With this we saved the most important thing,” said Economics Minister Hubert Aiwanger (Free Voters): “We would be a bad host country if we hadn’t been able to allow these 14,000 spectators.” With this, Aiwanger emphasized, they are at least “not at the bottom, but can keep up”. Behind Munich, however, only Bucharest (13,000) and Glasgow (12,000) rank in the audience table.
Markus Söder nevertheless claimed a pioneering role for Bavaria and Munich. “The European Football Championship is a special situation,” he said at the beginning of his explanations: “We believe that this can be a pilot and test run for further professional sport in Germany.” Both Söder and Reiter want to approach it carefully. “Of course, the safety and health of the population is my top priority,” assured Munich’s mayor. In this context, Bavaria’s Prime Minister referred to a “strict hygiene concept that the Ministry of Health and the City of Munich have already discussed with each other”. It provides for PCR tests for the visitors, the wearing of masks in the arena and the organization of the arrival and departure of the fans, “so that there are no casseroles,” as Söder said.
How the latter point should be organized and how larger fan gatherings should be avoided after the games in the city center, however, still seems to be unclear. “We will now tackle this immediately after the decision has been made,” said Bavaria’s Minister of Health, Klaus Holetschek, at the press conference after the cabinet meeting. “This is a joint task, the Ministry of the Interior is certainly also involved,” he added and promised: “If we go out here, we will discuss other things with the state capital.”
Time is of the essence, also for Uefa and its ticket allocation. After the EM, originally planned for summer 2020, was postponed to this year due to the corona pandemic and the spectator capacities are lower than planned, not every ticket holder can actually enjoy a visit to the stadium. These days, Uefa has drawn a lottery ticket to determine which tickets will be canceled and refunded and which will remain valid. The winners have to confirm within 24 hours whether they want to use the tickets, otherwise they will go on sale again until Monday.