COPENHAGEN (AP) — At least 11,000 fans will be allowed into soccer matches staged in Copenhagen during this year's European Championship, the Danish government said Thursday.

The country’s culture ministry said more fans will be allowed inside Parken Stadium “if health conditions allow” amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Copenhagen is scheduled to host four matches in June, three in the group stage and another in the round of 16.

“The European Football Championship is a unique and historic event in Denmark,” Culture Minister Joy Mogensen said in a statement. “The government has therefore decided to allow at least 11,000-12,000 spectators for the four matches held in Parken.”

The amount matches the 30% capacity limit UEFA used for some games in the Champions League and other club competitions in late 2020. Away fans weren't allowed at those games.

Mogensen said an “expert group” has been set up to assess how many fans will be allowed.

“We have also informed the Danish Football Union and UEFA that it may be necessary to close (the stadium to) spectators if there is a spread of infection,” Mogensen said, “as it will be unjustifiable from a health point of view to allow spectators to the matches.”

Russia said it is planning for even more fans at matches, shooting for 50% capacity in St. Petersburg, or about 30,000 fans.

“Regarding the European Championship, we are looking ahead to it with optimism,” Alexei Sorokin, who heads the organizing committee for the games in St. Petersburg and is a member of the FIFA Council, said in comments reported by the Tass state news agency.

Sorokin said Russia was hoping to allow in foreign fans and had a higher “level of optimism” than organizers of the Olympics, where foreign spectators will be barred.

Denmark and Russia are both hosting games in Group B, which also contains Belgium and Finland.

There is still uncertainty about which other host cities will be able to welcome fans during Euro 2020 because of the varying rates of infection across the continent.

The British government has a roadmap out of lockdown which has raised the prospect of fans being at Wembley Stadium for the semifinals and final in July, as well as matches in both the group stage and the round of 16.


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