Euro 2020 and COVID-19: how should Britain handle the delayed tournament?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
April 27, 2021, 10:56 AM UTC

The public are split on hosting the cancelled tournament matches from last year, but football fans are all for it

The 2020 UEFA European Championship tournament was due to be hosted across multiple European countries, but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The matches have been rescheduled across Europe for this summer in cities including London and Rome, although this all depends on the state of pandemic come July.

It had previously been suggested that the matches could all be hosted in the UK, where fans could attend as the lockdown restrictions are eased ahead of the summer and given the progress of the vaccination programme. This has currently been ruled out by UEFA and the FA, although attitudes may change depending on the progress made against COVID-19.

But would the public want to see the tournament hosted in across the UK in the first place?

Some two in five Britons (40%) would support the UK hosting all the matches from last year’s cancelled Euros. However, a significant proportion are unsure (33%), with a further quarter (26%) opposed to the idea.

Football fans on the other hand are all for it, with seven in ten (71%) in favour of hosting the entire tournament – including nearly two in five (39%) strongly supportive of moving the matches to UK stadiums. Some 19% of fans would be opposed to having all the games played across the UK.

Should there be limits on who can attend?

Despite being an intentional event, if the UK did host the international matches Britons tend to think that attendance should be limited to only fans from the UK (38%) - with football fans broadly thinking the same (48%).

Only 16% of people think matches should be open to fans from both the UK and abroad, rising to 26% among fans of the beautiful game.

Nearly three in ten people (29%), including half as many football fans (15%), think that if the UK did play host, the games should take place behind closed doors as they have for the Premier League this season.

The topic of COVID-19 vaccine passports or certificates allowing venues to drop pandemic precautions has been ongoing for months, with our latest research finding 62% of Britons in favour of a scheme to track those who are vaccinated or have recently tested negative before entering a sports stadium.

This survey finds similar sentiment, with two thirds of both the public and football fans (66%) who think fans should be allowed to attend Euros matches in favour of requiring proof of vaccination for them to do so. 

One in eleven members of the public (9%) and 8% of football fans think only those travelling from abroad should have to show proof of vaccination to attend.

Around a fifth (19%) of both groups say there should be no vaccine requirement to attend matches if the UK hosted the Euros.

See full results here