Sports

UEFA Super Cup: Several Bayern Munich fans return tickets over COVID-19 fears after spike in cases in Hungary

Budapest will host the match between Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League holders Sevilla, however, the fixture is facing growing criticism.

Agence France-Presse September 22, 2020 20:30:53 IST

Berlin: Around 800 Bayern Munich supporters have returned tickets for Thursday's UEFA Super Cup in Hungary amid fears the showcase match could become a "super spreader" event.

Budapest will host the match between Champions League winners Bayern Munich and Europa League holders Sevilla, however, the fixture is facing growing criticism.

Germany has declared Budapest a risk zone, after new infections in the Hungarian capital climbed above the threshold of 50 new cases per 100,000 people.

"Everyone should think twice before going there," said Markus Soeder, state premier for Bavaria, on Tuesday after tightening the region's regulations.

Any Bayern fans returning from Budapest must "either be tested or be quarantined", Soeder added.

As a pilot project towards the return of fans in stadiums, Bayern and Sevilla were both given 3,000 tickets for the game in Budapest.

However, UEFA expect only 500 Sevilla supporters and 1300 Bayern fans at Budapest's Puskas Arena.

Initially, Bayern fans requested 2100 tickets, but 800 were returned by Monday, according to AFP subsidiary SID and German daily Bild, the same day Soeder warned about Budapest becoming football's "Ischgl".

The Austrian ski resort became notorious as a so-called "super spreader" after thousands of holidaymakers became infected at the start of the epidemic in Europe.

"Will the Super Cup become the Super Spreader Cup?" questioned German daily Bild.

Bayern and Sevilla are offering testing to fans travelling to and from Budapest.

"We have no interest in people returning from Budapest infected with the virus, which is then unrecognised here," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Bild pointed out the absurdity of the situation after Bayern had to play behind closed doors in last Friday's 8-0 win over Schalke, yet 20,000 — a third of the stadium's capacity — would be allowed to watch in Budapest.

Last week, Munich's mayor scuppered the club's plans to let 7,500 fans into the Allianz Arena to see Friday's season opener because of rising numbers of COVID-19 in the Bavarian capital.

On Tuesday, UEFA told SID the Super Cup match will go ahead as planned.

Updated Date: September 22, 2020 20:30:53 IST

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