Following the successful pilot of the UEFA Super Cup in Budapest on 24th September, UEFA allowed the partial return of spectators for UEFA matches where local laws permitted. This came into effect for the October international window, including UEFA Nations League fixtures.
The number of spectators is capped at a maximum of 30 percent of the respective stadium capacity and away supporters are not allowed into UEFA games until further notice. The UEFA Super Cup demonstrated that it is possible for fans to attend football matches in the right circumstances by putting their health and safety first and implementing comprehensive mitigation measures.
At the time this policy was announced, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said:
“27 countries on the continent already allow fans to some extent… In these difficult times, it is important to bring more hope and passion back into the lives of football fans and we urge them to behave appropriately and respect sanitary measures in place for their own health and for the health of their fellow club or national team supporters.”
Roundup of October Internationals
48 nations played home games during the October international window, and of these, 50 percent played home games with fans in attendance. 24 nations followed UEFA procedures and guidelines allowing fans to enter stadia. Click here to see a map of those nations with fans in attendance.
7 of the 55 UEFA Member Associations did not have a home fixture or had to play their home fixtures at a neutral venue. 24 nations therefore did not have spectators in attendance for any of their home fixtures in October.
Nations welcomed fans back in different numbers depending on the limit set by local authorities. In Helsinki, Finland v Republic of Ireland was played in front of 8,000 fans, while the Finns’ earlier game against Bulgaria was played in front of 6,800 fans. There were returns to stadia in other nations, including: Denmark (500), France (1,000), Switzerland (5,000), Belgium (7,000) and Croatia (7,011). Please see our interactive map for other nations for a more detailed overview.
Following consultation with our Fans’ Embassy Network on ticket distribution, most nations put their faithful supporters at the forefront of their policy. For example, in Belgium all members of fan clubs had the opportunity to purchase a ticket for their friendly against Ivory Coast. Official fan clubs in Austria were given a pre-sale window to purchase tickets for their home game against Greece, and in Northern Ireland, only Campaign Card holders (equivalent of a season ticket for international games) were given an opportunity to apply for tickets for this match due to only 600 being available. Nearly all tickets sold by national associations were e-tickets. FSE supports the move by national associations to prioritise their most committed fans during these unprecedented times.
We will continue to monitor the situation across Europe in relation to the return of spectators and will work with UEFA wherever possible to assist with the phased return to the stadia. We look forward to the final international window of 2020 in November.