Great Britain has offered to host the rescheduled Euro 2020 tournament this summer, after the government began to draw up plans to allow supporters back into stadiums by the end of May.
The United Kingdom has been one of the most severely hit nations by the coronavirus, having officially recorded more than 120,000 deaths since the pandemic started a year ago.
But the UK government has acted quickly in administering vaccinations to the entire population and more than 17m people have already received their first dose to immunise themselves against Covid-19.
This positive step in combatting the virus has led to culture secretary Oliver Dowden offering the nation’s services to UEFA by hosting Euro 2020 solely in Great Britain, given that they could be the first major European country to welcome fans back into stadiums, according to the Sunday Times.
The tournament would certainly be tainted by a lack of crowds and atmosphere and holding it in one nation – which plans to have vaccinated the entire adult population partially by the end of July – would allow fans to return in some capacity.
The Euros were postponed last year after the coronavirus took hold of all of Europe and, with the tournament originally planned to be hosted across 12 different countries, it became logistically impossible to organise it safely.
Wembley was initially set to host a number of key matches, including the semi-finals and final, and the government would be willing to accept more responsibilities if UEFA seeks to reduce the total amount of countries involved.
This opportunity arises with the UK government looking to ease its population back into a more normal routine, as they are aware people have been badly affected by their inability to socialise in recent months.
Health secretary Matt Hancock said he hadn’t seen any such suggestion, adding: “I haven’t seen anything on that, I understand that that’s not right.”
“The two areas where people have been hurt are in education and the fact that no one has been able to have social contact with friends and family. That’s why schools and outdoor socialising come first,” said a No 10 source.