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Supplementary information files for Attending sporting mega events during COVID-19: mitigation and messaging at UK EURO 2020 matches

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posted on 2023-05-29, 13:53 authored by Richard I. Purves, Jordan Maclean, Claudio Rocha, Matthew Philpott, Niamh Fitzgerald, Joe PigginJoe Piggin, Kate Hunt

Supplementary files for article Attending sporting mega events during COVID-19: mitigation and messaging at UK EURO 2020 matches

The UEFA EURO 2020 football tournament was one of the largest Sporting Mega Events (SMEs) to take place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mitigating the risk of virus transmission requires a multi-layered approach for any large event, more so in this case due to staging the tournament across eleven host countries. Yet, little is known about COVID-19 risks and mitigation from attending an event of this scale and nature. We examined the implementation of mitigation and messaging at EURO 2020 matches hosted at venues in the UK. The tournament was postponed from the summer of 2020 and played in June and July of 2021. Structured observations were conducted by 11 trained fieldwork-supporters at 10 matches played at Wembley Stadium, London, or Hampden Park, Glasgow. Fieldwork-supporters observed one-way systems and signage, and hand sanitizing stations inside the stadia, but reported significant variation in the implementation of staggered timeslots, testing upon entry, and procedures for exit. Adherence to planned measures by ticket holders and implementation by stewards waned as the tournament progressed culminating in an absence of enforced measures at the final. The non-compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures was likely to have led to a significantly increased risk of transmission. Future events should consider how COVID-19 mitigation measures could become 'new norms' of fan behaviour, learning from what is already known about football fandom. Tournament organizers of SMEs can use these findings to promote clearer messaging on pandemic-driven changes in fan behaviour and best practices in mitigating risk at future sporting and cultural events. 


UK Research and Innovation Agile Research and Innovation Response to COVID-19 (EP/V055291/1)



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences