It’s just over a month until Euro 2020 kicks off.
The anticipation should be greater than ever given that the tournament has already been postponed by a year.
Yet it’s safe to say this summer’s competition will look a bit different.
In truth, it’s remarkable that the multi-city fixtures are going ahead at all, and Wembley will now host a greater share of matches than was initially planned.
There was plenty of clamour for tickets – but according to The Times, attending a match at the Euros isn’t going to be the regular day out at the football.
The newspaper report that fans could be banned from drinking and will be encouraged to stamp their feet instead of cheering goals.
Sounds like great craic, doesn’t it…
All social restrictions are currently set to be lifted on 21 June, but the UK government are beginning to accept that some measures will need to be taken to ensure fans can attend.
It’s being debated whether supporters should be prevented from drinking alcohol altogether, or whether they could be served in their seats to ensure they remain distanced.
Per the same report, Professor Dame Theresa Marteau of the University of Cambridge discussed introducing “new norms” as to how people behave at the game – whereby stamping could replace cheering because it carries less risk of infection.
Regardless, it’s likely that fans will have to provide evidence of a negative test before entry to the stadium – as was the case for the few thousand fans who were in attendance at Manchester City’s Carabao Cup final victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Fans could also still be expected to wear face masks and keep 2m apart.
The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) have warned the government that the reintroduction of mass crowds at sport will be under huge scrutiny, with the failure to outlaw large gatherings last March having been blamed for worsening the first wave.
With just a few weeks until the tournament begins with Turkey vs Italy, it won’t be long until we see these new-look crowds in action.