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‘Satisfied and happy’ – Martin Kallen on UEFA EURO 2020’s first week

With the tournament completing its seventh day at venues across Europe, UEFA Events SA CEO Martin Kallen had plenty of positive things to say at a media briefing on Thursday.

Martin Kallen
Martin Kallen UEFA via Getty Images

‘We are seeing very good matches’

"Overall, we are satisfied with the organisation," Kallen told journalists at the briefing, before going on to address other topics to mark the end of the first set of group stage matches. "Things are working well at all of the eleven venues – we do not have a lot of issues on the organisational side. On the footballing side, I think we are seeing very good matches."

Martin Kallen on spectators

"We are very happy that spectators have been able to return. It’s a very big difference for the game to have spectators in the stadium – it’s a totally different atmosphere, we could see this at the eleven venues, especially with the [100%] crowd [for the match between Hungary and Portugal] in Budapest. We are pleased with the attendances, because it’s a really difficult matter for everybody for the moment. To go to a match, you need to do a lot of logistics – PCR tests, antigen tests … but people still want to see the matches. In the circumstances, we are happy.

"Most of the spectators are using public transport. Our EURO 2020 app is a really good product, and the spectators are using it as a means of information."

An average of 76% of spectators are using public transport to get to the stadium, with up to 93% in Budapest.

In addition, the EURO 2020 app is the top European app in multiple European markets (#1 downloaded app in the UK market; #2 in Hungary; #3 in Denmark; #5 in Italy; #6 in Germany) – a range of between 30% and 75% of spectators across the first 12 matches have downloaded the app and are actively using it on their matchday.

Martin Kallen on host city fanzones

"Up to now, [over] 217,000 people have gone to fanzones [where there are fanzones]. We are satisfied with what we have been able to put in place with the host cities."

Martin Kallen on Christian Eriksen

The Danish midfielder is recovering after receiving emergency medical treatment during Denmark’s match against Finland last Saturday.

"We are very happy that he is getting better, and that his health is [improving].

"From our side, we felt that we handled the case well. There were discussions on several options. The teams, together with the referee, decided that the best option was to play the match that night. It was a common decision between the teams and the referee."

Martin Kallen on vaccinated players

"We know that certain teams have vaccinated most of their players … many of the teams have not started vaccinating the players because the time was too short between leaving their clubs and the start of the tournament."

Martin Kallen on players taking the knee before matches

"We are open to players taking the knee…we respect that."

UEFA statements

UEFA issued two statements at the media briefing:

Benjamin Pavard

Concussion case involving the French player during Tuesday’s match against Germany

"UEFA has received detailed information from the French FA medical team on the course of events and is satisfied that the actions taken by the medical team were in line with the concussion protocol. According to the reports that we received from the team doctor, it seems that a loss of consciousness did not occur. The team doctor did not find any reason to suspect a concussion either on the pitch or after thorough assessment made by a renowned specialist in this field in later follow-up. The player will nevertheless continue to be closely monitored over the coming days.

"All 24 teams committed to follow the recommendations of the UEFA Concussion Charter before the start of the tournament and the responsibility for decision-making remains with the team doctor. If the team doctor has any doubts about unconsciousness or signs of concussion, he should remove the player from the field. The team doctor is the ONLY person who can take the decision for the player to stay on the pitch or be substituted. The team doctor's decision must always be respected, even if the player or the coach believes that the player is fit to continue."

More on the EURO 2020 concussion charter

More on the concussion awareness campaign

Removal of bottles

Cases of players removing bottles in front of them at press conferences

"UEFA has reminded participating teams that partnerships are integral to the delivery of the tournament and to ensuring the development of football across Europe, including for youth and women."