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Sadiq Khan: Euro 2020 finals should stay at Wembley

18 June 2021, 12:58

By Eleanor Walsh

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has told LBC that he thinks the Euro finals should be allowed to go ahead at Wembley after a possible threat by Uefa to move the games to Budapest because of Britain’s travel rules.

It has been reported that the government will allow 2,500 football officials into London from abroad without needing to quarantine for the finals next month.

The VIP UK arrivals would include sponsors and politicians who could attend the matches as well as meetings with the British government.

Amanda in Reading asked whether the games need to be moved due to public safety.

On the latest instalment of Speak to Sadiq with James O'Brien, the Mayor of London said “I do believe we should have proper border controls to do our best to minimise the chances of viruses coming into our country, particularly different variants” but said an agreement needed to be made to allow finals to take place in the capital without the need for officials to quarantine.

James challenged the Mayor: “you can’t have it both ways - the more I read into it and look at what the national government has got right since this nightmare started, the more I wonder whether this is something else we’re going to look back on with a sense of wonder like we did with the beaches last summer”.

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The Mayor downplayed the threat of the games being moved and said that UEFA is cooperating with the government, councils and his office to ensure they could go ahead safely: “they want to get as many of their officials to watch the game as they can”.

Despite a possible public backlash Boris Johnson is reportedly drawn to the plans to allow thousands of VIPs in because of a joint Home Nations bid for the 2030 World Cup.

A UEFA statement on Friday read: "UEFA is delighted that the capacity at Wembley will go up to at least 50% for the knock-out round matches.

"At the moment, we are in discussions with the local authorities to try to allow fans of the participating teams to attend the matches, using a strict testing and bubble concept that would mean their stay in the UK would be less than 24 hours and their movements would be restricted to approved transport and venues only.

"We understand the pressures that the Government face and hope to be able to reach a satisfactory conclusion of our discussions on the matter. There is always a contingency plan but we are confident that the final week will be held in London."

Every month, Sadiq hosts an LBC phone-in, taking your calls on whatever you want to ask him.

Whether it's a question about the tube, terrorism or the housing crisis. Send your question in to Speak To Sadiq.