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Despite the increasing number of corona infections, the Russian city of St. Petersburg wants to stick to plans for the admission of spectators in its stadium at the upcoming European Football Championship. This was confirmed by the local EM organizer Alexej Sorokin on Saturday at a press conference.

“We are sure that we can ensure all necessary security measures, said Sorokin. The 2018 World Cup boss resolutely added: "We are not afraid."

In Russia's second largest city with around five million inhabitants, more than 800 COVID-19 infections were registered within 24 hours for the first time in almost two months. At the same time, the local authorities reopened a makeshift hospital to treat those infected with corona, which had already been closed in February due to the falling number of cases.

A total of seven tournament games are to take place at the European Championship venue in St. Petersburg. The six preliminary round matches of Group B and E also include the games of the Russian national team against Belgium and Finland. A quarter-finals are also scheduled in St. Petersburg.

The Russian EM organizers recently announced that the European Association would release 50 percent of the capacity for their World Cup stadium in St. Petersburg. The arena offers space for 68,000 visitors. Russia also announced the lifting of the visa requirement for foreign fans with tickets for the European Championship period.

According to Sorokin, stadium visitors should be subjected to strict controls at the European Championship games. The negative result of a corona test will therefore be a prerequisite for entry into the stadium.

In addition, the spectators must wear a face mask for the entire duration of their stay inside the arena. Sorokin did not provide any information about the organizers' alternative plans in the event of the corona virus spreading again in Russia and the EM city itself.

Photo: AFP / SID and suppliers +++ More on Fever Pit’ch