German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has criticised UEFA for allowing big crowds at the host stadiums of the on-going Euro 2020 tournament despite the spread of Delta variant of the corona virus.
Seehofer reckons that UEFA are commercially driven and are utterly irresponsible because health should be the first priority in all circumstances. Germany have allowed only limited number of spectators at the Allianz Arena but a reported crowd of 40,000 fans were allowed into the Wembley stadium in London for England round of 16 match against Germany.
Moreover, 60,000 fans are expected to be in attendance during the semi-finals and the final at Wembley despite a sharp rise in corona virus cases in England due to the newly identified Delta variant.
“I consider the position of UEFA to be absolutely irresponsible,” Seehofer said. “We all know that contact avoidance and certain hygiene rules are indispensable to overcome infections.”
When you see pictures of “people being very close to each other” and “celebrating successes with big hugs”, Seehofer added, it is “preordained that this will promote the occurrence of infections”.
Meanwhile, officials said on Wednesday that nearly 2,000 people who live in Scotland attended a Euro 2020 event while infectious with COVID-19.
Thousands of Scots came to London for their team’s game against England on June 18.
At least 300 Finns who went to cheer on the national team at the tournament have contracted COVID-19, health officials said on Tuesday.
The daily infection rate in Finland has gone up from approximately 50 a day to more than 200 in the past week, and the figure is likely to grow in the coming days, they said.
Last week, Russian authorities blamed the Delta variant for a surge in both new infections and deaths in major cities including St Petersburg which is due to host a quarter-final on Friday.
Commercialism should “not overshadow the protection of the population against infection”, Seehofer continued. Last month, the WHO said it was concerned about the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by host nations, noting that some were already seeing rising cases.