Spanish FA to offer Seville as Bilbao alternative for Euro games

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - World Cup Qualifiers Europe - Group B - Spain v Kosovo - Estadio La Cartuja de Sevilla, Seville, Spain - March 31, 2021 General view inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Marcelo Del Pozo

MADRID (Reuters) - The Spanish soccer federation (RFEF) will offer Seville's La Cartuja stadium as an alternative venue for Euro 2020 matches should Bilbao be stripped of its games, the body's president Luis Rubiales said.

Bilbao's San Mames stadium is due to host three group games and a round-of-16 tie in June in the European Championship but has been unable to guarantee to UEFA that fans will be allowed to attend games.

European football's governing body has given the Basque city, along with Munich and Dublin, until Monday to provide assurances that some spectators will be allowed into their stadiums.

"For us as a national team and as a country we feel it is fundamental to remain as a host nation," Rubiales said.

"It's true that there's some difficulties in Bilbao but UEFA need to decide on that. For us, if they decide to remove it, it would be terrible for us if those games went to another country.

"I'm going to do everything that's in our powers in order for Spain to remain as a host nation and La Cartuja is a fantastic stadium that has everything it needs to host it.

"We have a relationship with the regional government and the stadium and so if this were to happen Seville would be our first choice, but it's not up to us.

"Hosting three national team games and a last-16 tie would be a big deal for us, both in terms of for fans and economically."

(Reporting by Joseph Walker; editing by Clare Fallon)

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