News Sport news Super Cup Final in Budapest to be Held on Thurs­day in Front of Spec­ta­tors Amid Fear of Pan­dem­ic Risk

Super Cup Final in Budapest to be Held on Thurs­day in Front of Spec­ta­tors Amid Fear of Pan­dem­ic Risk

The UEFA Super Cup Final, in which Cham­pi­ons League win­ner Bay­ern Munich will take on Europa League cham­pi­ons Span­ish Sevil­la FC, sched­uled for 9 o’clock on Thurs­day, will be the first Euro­pean match to be held in front of spec­ta­tors since the start of the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, as a “pilot test” for UEFA for bring­ing back fans to sta­di­ums. Although spe­cial mea­sures accom­pa­ny the match to ensure the safe­ty of both spec­ta­tors and cit­i­zens, many said that it pos­es a seri­ous pan­dem­ic risk. 

Spe­cial mea­sures for safe­ty of both spec­ta­tors and Hun­gar­i­an citizens

Only 30% of the 67,215-seat Puskás Aré­na will be filled by fans, with 3,000 tick­ets avail­able for the sup­port­ers of each of the final­ists. All spec­ta­tors will have their tem­per­a­tures checked before enter­ing the sta­di­um. Wear­ing a mask will be oblig­a­tory when enter­ing the sta­di­um and for mov­ing around inside, while it will be rec­om­mend­ed when seat­ed, in addi­tion to the usage of hand san­i­tiz­ers and adher­ence to the phys­i­cal dis­tanc­ing rules.

All tick­et hold­ers will be sub­ject to manda­to­ry health checks upon enter­ing the coun­try and will have to present a neg­a­tive coro­n­avirus test no old­er than 72 hours. Fans from Ger­many and Spain will be trans­port­ed sep­a­rate­ly in order to avoid con­tact with oth­ers while trav­el­ing, approach­ing, or leav­ing the stadium.

Fans expe­ri­enc­ing any of the symp­toms of coro­n­avirus, or if their COVID test came back pos­i­tive at least 14 days pri­or to the game, or have been in con­tact with an infect­ed per­son, will be denied entry to the sta­di­um. In these cas­es, UEFA will refund the tickets.

Spain: 2,500 tick­ets unsold out of 3,000

Although 3,000 tick­ets were made avail­able to both Bay­ern München and Seville spec­ta­tors, Seville can­celed 2,500 tick­ets. Accord­ing to the report of the radio and tele­vi­sion com­pa­ny Canal Sur, there will only be five hun­dred Span­ish fans on site at Puskás Are­na, as the remain­ing 2,500 tick­ets could not be sold due to high trav­el costs, the coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion, and strict health checks in Hungary.

2,100 Bay­ern spec­ta­tors may arrive, but Budapest on Ger­man coro­n­avirus risk list

Mean­while, prob­a­bly because their city is only 650 kilo­me­ters from Budapest and can eas­i­ly be reached by train, about 2,100 fans would like to accom­pa­ny the Bay­ern Munich foot­ball team to Budapest for the match against Seville. “Fans are required to have a neg­a­tive coro­n­avirus test,” stressed Karl-Heinz Rum­menigge, head of the Cham­pi­ons League-win­ning asso­ci­a­tion. Team sym­pa­thiz­ers could test them­selves at the club’s expense ear­li­er this week.

At the same time, the news arrived last week that Budapest was added to Germany’s coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic risk list, due to the ris­ing num­ber of coro­n­avirus infec­tions in the Hun­gar­i­an cap­i­tal. Accord­ing to the Ger­man rules, those return­ing to the coun­try from the list­ed regions have to be test­ed and quar­an­tined for 14 days until their test results come back.

Due to the country’s risk clas­si­fi­ca­tion, Bay­ern Munich head coach Hans-Dieter Flick dis­agreed with the match held in Budapest, but as he put it “it is not they who make the rules.” At the same time, Bavar­i­an Prime Min­is­ter Markus Söder has asked fans not to trav­el to Hun­gary, say­ing that “my stom­ach twitch­es when I think of the Super Cup. Budapest is a risky place, we have to be very care­ful, we can’t risk it being the Ischgl of foot­ball,” refer­ring to the hol­i­day resort in Tyrol, which was one of the focal points of the epi­dem­ic at the begin­ning of the year dur­ing the ski season.

Por­to may­or threat­ens UEFA with lawsuit

The May­or of Por­to, Rui Mor­eira, has threat­ened the Euro­pean Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion (UEFA) with a law­suit for not hold­ing the Bay­ern Munich-Seville Euro­pean Super Cup match in its orig­i­nal loca­tion of Por­to, but in Budapest. Pre­vi­ous­ly, the Super Cup match was tak­en away from the city due to the coro­n­avirus sit­u­a­tion, but Mor­eira says that now although the rate of infec­tion is ris­ing in Hun­gary, it does not seem to force UEFA to take action. The may­or said, “I hope we get a sat­is­fac­to­ry response to our com­plaint. If not, we will go to court.” In his com­plaint to UEFA, the may­or also points out that at the time of the eighth final of the Cham­pi­ons League, the lev­el of infec­tion in the host city of Lis­bon was high­er than when the deci­sion was made about tak­ing the Super Cup match from his city. Although the main argu­ment for chang­ing the com­pe­ti­tion cal­en­dar was the coro­n­avirus, UEFA jus­ti­fied mov­ing the final to Budapest by not hav­ing both club tour­na­ment finals in Portugal.

Oppo­si­tion par­ties demand match behind closed doors

The Super Cup final has become a con­test­ed debate in Hun­gary as well. Crit­ics note that despite the spe­cial rules, an event with more than 20,000 in atten­dance pos­es a seri­ous pan­dem­ic risk, espe­cial­ly since Hungary’s bor­ders are still closed for every­one else, in addi­tion to oth­er rules, such as clubs and venues now have to close at 11 pm.

The Social­ist par­ty (MSZP) has been cam­paign­ing for the match to be held with­out spec­ta­tors ever since it was announced that fans would be admit­ted to the are­na. Mean­while, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Coali­tion (DK) also called on Sán­dor Csányi, Pres­i­dent of the Hun­gar­i­an Foot­ball Asso­ci­a­tion (MLSZ), to hold the Budapest final of the Euro­pean Super Cup behind closed doors.

Source: hun​gary​to​day​.hu / MTI