Italian Prime Minister Draghi opposes Euro 2020 final in variant-hit England

Mario Draghi said the Euro 2020 final should not be held in London due to a surge in coronavirus cases in England

epa09283907 Italian Premier Mario Draghi during a press conference at Chigi Palace, Rome, Italy, 18 June 2021. 'Despite all the confusion, it is extraordinary how the Italian population does not show the intention to decrease vaccination and not to vaccinate, it is extraordinary. Compared to other countries, it is one of the most admirable behaviors, let’s remember it", Draghi said.  EPA/GIUSEPPE LAMI
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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Monday he believed the Euro 2020 final should not be held in Wembley given the renewed surge in coronavirus cases in England.

"I support ensuring that the final does not take place in a country where the risk of infection is of course very high," he told reporters at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin.

Mr Draghi, whose country's team has had an impressive run at the tournament so far, is the latest leader to voice doubts about the Wembley location.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said his priority was keeping the "country safe from Covid", as a source confirmed to AFP that UEFA was keeping the option open of moving the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final from Wembley to Budapest.

The highly contagious Delta variant, first detected in India, has fuelled a spike in new Covid-19 cases in Britain and forced the government there to delay planned re-openings.

Germany's Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron last week voiced concerns over allowing fans to crowd Euro 2020 stadiums, with Ms Merkel saying "caution is still necessary" at "big events".

Mr Macron said "we'll have to keep an eye on things" for teams and fans, particularly in view of the rapid spread of Delta variant in Britain.