Amsterdam Euro ‘20 matches to allow more fans; Oranje keeper tests positive for Covid
More football fans will be allowed in Amsterdam’s Johan Cruijff Arena for the European Championships, with attendance expanded to 16,000 people per game, Dutch football association KNVB announced. Previously, 12,000 fans were going to be allowed to attend matches at the arena, which seats 55,500.
"In April it became clear that at least a quarter of the Johan Cruijff ArenA could be filled. Based on the results of the various Fieldlab studies, the epidemiological situation in June and the decrease in pressure on healthcare, the occupancy rate has now been scaled up to a third," KNVB stated on their website.
Amsterdam will stage four games of the upcoming European Championships set to kick off on June 11. The final 26-man Oranje squad will play all of its group stage matches against Ukraine, Austria and North Macedonia Johan Cruijff Arena, followed by an additional knockout phase game.
One person initially on that final squad is 32-year-old goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen. He will no longer be allowed to join the tournament after testing positive for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection last week.
Cillessen was the first goalkeeper choice for coach Frank De Boer. He informed Cillessen on Tuesday morning that he cannot include him in the final selection, which had to be handed in to UEFA today.
"Let me state that I am incredibly gutted for Jasper. But I had to make the decision," said De Boer. "We don't know how long it will take until he is 100% fit again. I don't want to take any risks in that regard."
Marco Bizot, who was previously De Boer’s fourth pick will now be included on the roster. The Dutch team will open the tournament against Ukraine on June 13 in Amsterdam.
All fans will still be asked to still provide a negative COVID-19 test before being granted access to the arena, KNVB added. Additionally, tournament organizers are currently looking for a best way to distribute the additional tickets.
"It is fantastic that the coronavirus situation seems to be increasingly taken under control and therefore more things are now possible'', said tournament director Gijs de Jong. "We are therefore very happy that we can now make even more fans happy. It's great that this upscaling can be done in a safe and responsible way.''