Budapest, Hungary (AP) – The Corona virus testing tent set up for Bayern Munich fans has a definite message on its wall: “Super Cup? Super Safe! ”
Not everyone sees it that way.
This year’s Super Cup is not just a ceremonial opener for the European football season. If the UEFA had its way, it would reciprocate the fans in the Champions League and Europa League.
But it remains to be seen whether supporters of Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League champions Sevilla will fly across Europe and play heavily in the index trophy in the Hungarian capital, Budapest, on Thursday.
With the recent increase in corona virus cases across the continent, UEFA’s plan is coming under pressure.
Some leading German politicians fear that the game could spread the corona virus. Even the mayor of Budapest did not like the fans in the game.
“If I have the legal possibility to resolve this issue, the competition will take place behind closed doors,” Budapest Mayor Gerzeli Karakzoni told the daily newspaper Neptune for Wednesday’s edition. “But I have no right, so it belongs to those responsible.”
The Hungarian national government led by Prime Minister Victor Orban, an avid football fan who is keen to promote his country as a stable island during the Corona virus crisis, has decided to play with the fans. Elsewhere, Hungary has helped the UEFA by serving as a neutral venue for Champions League and Europa League qualifiers affected by virus-related restrictions.
However, the recent increase in virus cases in Budapest puts Germany on the official list of high-risk areas. Bayern fans returning from the game will have to undergo a corona virus test and be isolated, Bavarian Governor Marcus Soder said on Monday.
Byrne initially sold 2,100 tickets for the game and offered free corona virus testing at 3,000 venues. Hungarian officials are demanding that anyone come forward to present the latest negative test.
About 800 of those 2,100 fans returned following tickets promoted by German authorities. Sevilla sold only about 500 of its allotment, so most of the crowd at the Puskas Arena with 20,000 – 30% stadium capacity will be made up of local fans from Hungary.
UEFA’s decision to allocate the club to travel fans this season is extraordinary. No major European league will allow ticket sales for 2020-21. Both England and Spain started without any fans. Germany allows clubs to have 20% potential supporters.
An infectious spike in Munich forced Bayer to play in an empty stadium against Schalke last week, but they could still go to Hungary for the Super Cup.
The decision to play with Super Cup supporters has been defended by the Hungarian Football Federation.
“Thanks to strict security measures, the Puskas Stadium will be a safe place in the country or across Europe during the tournament,” the federation said in a statement on Wednesday.
Bayern flew to Budapest on Wednesday with the entire squad, including Leroy Sane, who can win his first trophy for the Munich club, and Schalke’s 8-0 hat-trick on Friday.
Sevilla are playing their first game of the season 2020-21, and Ivan Rakitic will make his debut on September 1 after the arrival of the Croatian midfielder from Barcelona.
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