UEFA has no plans to replace Wembley as host stadium of the Euro 2020 semifinals and final, European soccer's governing body said, after Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi called for the final to be moved from Britain due to rising COVID-19 cases.
The United Kingdom recorded 10,633 new cases of COVID-19 and five deaths on Monday, taking its toll to 4.63 million confirmed cases and 127,976 total deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
Sources told ESPN on Friday that Wembley could be stripped of hosting, with the fixtures moved to Hungarian capital Budapest, if the United Kingdom government failed to allow quarantine exemptions for visiting supporters and UEFA guests to attend the games.
"UEFA, the English FA and the English authorities are working closely together successfully to stage the semifinals and final of EURO in Wembley and there are no plans to change the venue for those games," a UEFA spokesperson said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
Wembley is scheduled to host the semifinals on July 6 and 7 before the July 11 final.
Italian PM Draghi said on Monday he was in favour of hosting the final in Rome, rather than in "a country where infections are rising quickly," while the European Union's top lawmaker on health issues also urged UEFA to move games away from London.
"Our health is priority," Peter Liese, a Member of the European Parliament, said in a statement on Tuesday. "The spread of the Delta variant makes it impossible for 40,000 spectators to view the final match in London's stadium."
The lawmaker, a physician by profession who speaks on health matters on behalf of the European People's Party (EPP), the largest grouping in the European Parliament, sent a letter on Tuesday to UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin, urging him to choose another location for the final, based only on public health criteria.
"The alternative venues should not be chosen by UEFA according to where the most spectators are allowed, but according to which stadium or city has the best hygiene concept and where health protection is best guaranteed," said Liese, who is a member of the same party as German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Liese also urged Ceferin not to consider Budapest as an alternative location, because it is the only European capital hosting the tournament that has allowed full capacity at its stadium.