Euro 2020 to be ‘boozy sex fest’ with fans ‘letting off a year of steam’

Euro 2020 could be a "free-for-all of booze, sex and violence" if it goes ahead with fans this summer, a security expert has claimed.

The tournament was postponed last summer due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and it is due to be played this year in 12 different cities across the continent, including London, Glasgow and Dublin.

Governing body UEFA is determined for the football spectacle to go ahead, or they will risk losing hundreds of millions of pounds in revenue.

Anthony Glees, a professor at the University of Buckingham, warned if any number of fans are allowed to attend the matches it could be "a recipe for letting off 18 months of pent-up frustration".

He said: "It has the potential to get very messy.

"If it does go ahead and significant numbers of fans are involved, my security worries are to do with what will be massive pent-up needs and emotions caused by lockdown measures.

"This will lead to behaviour that will go well beyond 'letting your hair down', lots of booze, white powders of all kinds, leading to brawls and fights and even sexual encounters with ladies who may have been waiting some time to ply their trade.

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"But I think those in charge realise people need a break and football is always a better spectacle with fans, so they will want to have supporters at the games. It will be a difficult balancing act."

UEFA chiefs are still discussing in what format the tournament will go ahead.

They are working on four different scenarios with each of the host cities drawing up different plans for full stadiums, 50% capacity, 20-30% capacity and behind closed doors, as Premier League matches are currently taking place.

It has also been suggested Euro 2020 could eventually be staged in one place, with England and Scotland emerging as a potential candidate.

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The semi-finals and the final are due to be staged at Wembley and the country is further along on its vaccination programme compared to other potential hosts.

Mr Glees admitted he would be "shocked" if the tournament was Europe-wide given how quickly coronavirus spreads.

He said: "I would be surprised if the tournament is hosted across the continent.

"We know this is a social virus, even when people are outside in large groups it transmits quickly.

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"If it ended up being hosted only by one country, that throws up a whole range of issues about how you try to keep everyone safe.

"Obviously from Covid, but also from potential terror threats. If fans are present the site will be a huge target considering large gatherings have pretty much been banned since March.

"From a Covid-19 perspective, it could be that people will have to prove they have been vaccinated to enter matches. That could be the future for all big events."

The tournament, which has retained the name Euro 2020 due to sponsorship and branding, is being held across Europe to celebrate the competition's 60th anniversary.

The host cities are due to be London, Glasgow, Dublin, Bilbao, Munich, Rome, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Saint Petersburg and Baku, Azerbaijan.

Cancellation is "not an option" due to the the financial damage it would cause. France, Germany and Russia are thought to be the other candidates to host the tournament on their own.

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