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"We will not accept threats" - Basque govt. angered by Euro removal


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The Basque government has reacted angrily to having its four Euro 2020 matches retracted by UEFA. 

European football's governing body is scheduled to reveal on Friday (April 23) whether or not Bilbao, Dublin or Munich can stage European Championship games.

Those three cities have so far been unable to meet UEFA's requirement that Euro 2020 stadiums operate at 25 per cent capacity.

The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar revealed on Wednesday that the Aviva Stadium is unlikely to host its three Group E and one last-16 matches.

"I think if they continue to insist on that [25 per cent capacity], it'll be hard for it to go ahead quite frankly," he said.

While the Irish government appear resigned to their fate, their Basque counterparts are fighting back.

According to El Pais, they've already been informed that Bilbao's San Mames stadium will not be Spain's Group E base.

In a statement, they angrily say they will not allow "the proven and long experience and capacity of the Basque authorities to manage and organise events of international scope to be questioned."

They say they signed a contract with UEFA in 2014 to host the Euros, and it is UEFA have moved the goalposts leaving them unable to host.

The Basque government say they have not been given adequate reason from UEFA as to why they will be deprived of their four matches.

They claim UEFA has attempted to prevent them from taking legal action against them in recent days.

Furthermore, they've lashed out at the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), who they claim "never liked Bilbao as the venue for Euro 2020".

RFEF president Luis Rubiales said earlier this month, that Seville's Cartuja stadium could fill the void potentially left by Bilbao.

"Let it be clear," the Basque statement continues, That we have not accepted nor will we accept threats, grievances, or disparagements and, much less, skip the rules that govern, at this time, the measures to prevent the health of our fellow citizens."

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Aviva Stadium Basque Bilbao Dublin Euro 2020 European Championships San Mames Stadium Uefa Euro 2020

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