The United Kingdom hosting every match of this summer’s European Championship is the most sensible solution, according to former Leeds and Manchester City defender Danny Mills.
UEFA still plan on staging the tournament across 12 countries despite widespread restrictions on socialising in Europe due to the continuing spread of COVID-19.
European football’s governing body has rejected suggestions the whole thing could take place in the UK, as has the English Football Association, despite prime minister Boris Johnson and England boss Gareth Southgate insisting the nation would be well-placed to step in.
London’s Wembley Stadium and Glasgow’s Hampden Park are already hosting 11 of the 51 matches, including both semi-finals and the final, while the UK boasts numerous other cities and stadiums suitable for major tournament fixtures.
UEFA has already sold a full allocation of seats for every game and they are yet to announce a plan for ticket holders, despite it being almost inconceivable that the Euros can take place in full stadiums across the continent.
The tournament begins on June 11 and, in the UK, fans are expected to return to stadiums in limited capacity on May 17 under current proposals, with all restrictions due to lift on June 21.
The UK’s vaccine rollout is significantly further along than most of Europe’s, which is why many consider Britain hosting the Euros to be the best solution.
More than 20million people in the UK have already received their first shot of the coronavirus vaccine – and by June it is hoped that most adults will be vaccinated, including everyone considered most vulnerable.
Mills said: “Is it wise to be travelling all over Europe at that stage, wherever it be?
“You have to look at the bigger picture, rather than whether we want to host it – is it just the best thing that we host it?
“We’ve already got two semis and the final, group games are here and in Scotland.
“Effectively, half of it is here already! The vaccine numbers in this country by then will be way over half the population.
“So this would be the safest place to have it.”
While Mills warns against thousands of fans arriving in the UK from across Europe in three months, the former full-back insists players would be safer in one place rather than travelling between 12.
And with the Premier League’s high proportion or European stars, it’s likely the UK has a larger percentage of players taking part, who already live here, compared with any other country.
He added: “You can control it, keeping all the players on one island is much better than having them travel around wherever it might be.
“Unfortunately, no foreign fans should be allowed in.”