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UEFA 'have no plans to move Euro 2020 semi-finals and final away from Wembley'

UEFA 'have no plans to move Euro 2020 semi-finals and final away from Wembley'
© Reuters
There were concerns the matches could have been heading to Hungary.

UEFA has no plans to take the semi-finals and final away from Wembley after concerns the lack of agreement over quarantine-free travel for officials could see the matches switched to Hungary.

Talks are still ongoing between UEFA, the Government and Football Association over a workaround solution which would see up to 2,500 VIPs attend the Euro 2020 final on July 11.

It is understood a deal is close to being struck which would see some restrictions remain in place for the select group and UEFA is not currently considering a move to Budapest.

“UEFA, the English FA and the English authorities are working closely together successfully to stage the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue for those games,” read a statement from European football’s governing body.

A Government source said there had been “positive” talks to address the issues around coronavirus restrictions and that “final details are being worked through’” but ministers have indicated that some restrictions would remain in place.

Culture minister Baroness Barran told peers on Monday the Government would restrict any changes to the “smallest possible group deemed critical to staging the tournament successfully”.

She said VIPs or accredited guests would not be exempt from restrictions but instead only be able to leave isolation for official events, would be subject to testing and bubble arrangements with a very strict code of conduct in place.

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The Puskas Arena had been mooted as a potential alternative to host Euro 2020 games originally scheduled for Wembley (Trenka Attila/PA)

The Puskas Arena in Budapest, used by the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City for Champions League matches last season due to Covid regulations, was mooted as a potential alternative should the matches not be able to go ahead, while on Monday Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi also suggested Rome could step in.

After England’s final group match against Croatia on Tuesday at Wembley the ground will host a further five knockout matches, with the final four seeing crowds of at least 40,000 being allowed despite the decision to delay the final easing of coronavirus restrictions. The games form part of the coronavirus pilot events research programme.

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Thursday's key events

· The women's heptathlon continues with the long jump, javelin and 800m, with Katarina Johnson-Thompson now out of contention following an injury (1.10am-1.40pm)
· Andrew Pozzi pursues his dream of an Olympic medal in the men's 110m hurdles final (3.55am)
· Tom Bosworth and Callum Wilkinson are among the British hopes in the men's 20km race walk (8.30am)
· Holly Bradshaw aims to improve on fifth in Rio to challenge Greece's Katerina Stefanidi and Anzhelika Sidorova of Russia for an unlikely medal in the women's pole vault (11am)
· London 2012 champion Kirani James goes up against current world champion Steven Gardiner in the men's 400m final (1pm)

· One of the toughest Olympic events takes place in Tokyo Bay as GB's Hector Pardoe takes on the men's 20km marathon swim (10.30pm Wed)

· Galal Yafai takes on takes on Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov for a spot in the gold medal bout of the fly (48kg-52kg) class (6.48am)

· Lois Toulson and Andrea Spendolini-Sirieix (daughter of First Dates' Fred Sirieix) line up for the women's 10m platform (semi-final 2am; final 7am)

· Australia face Belgium in the men's final (11am)

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