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15,500 tickets sold for UEFA Super Cup in Budapest despite rising sanitary concerns

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY – Robert Lewandowski’s Champions League winners Bayern Munich face Europa League victors Sevilla tonight at the 68,000-seat Puskás Aréna in the first major European match to feature fans since the Covid-19 crisis. But while the Hungarian government insists it is “safe” for those attending the UEFA Super Cup in Budapest, opposition claim they will be “experimental rabbits”.

Strict hygiene measures will however be in place for the 15,500 fans who bought tickets to game after UEFA stated that fans will be instructed to keep a distance of 1.5m from each other, wear masks and wash and disinfect their hands wherever possible.

They also will have to undergo body temperature checks at the stadium and anyone over 37.8C will be refused entry.

While the vast majority of the 15,500 tickets sold are coming from Hungary, Bayern and Sevilla have been allocated 3,000 tickets for the match, those supporters arriving from abroad will have to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test which must have been conducted in the previous three days and can only stay in Hungary for up to 72 hours.

Bavarian Premier Markus Soeder also urged Bayern fans not to travel to the Hungarian capital, saying the match could turn into a hotbed for Covid-19 to spread and warned they could face quarantine on their return to Germany.

Despite Viktor Orbán’s chief of staff claiming the event will be “safer than almost any other gathering”, Epidemiologist Andras Csilek, who advises the Hungarian Medical Chamber, said the match carried unnecessary risk adding: “The Chamber also considers it wrong. It is a feel-good story, but I don’t think it should be allowed.”

“This experiment is unacceptable,” said opposition Socialist deputy Ildiko Borbely. “They use 14,000 compatriots as experimental rabbits to see how the coronavirus spreads at mass gatherings. We reject exposing Hungary to such danger.”

Poland’s Robert Lewandowski won the UEFA Champions League with Bayern Munich and has been shortlisted for the UEFA men’s Player of the Year award.

With both teams going into the match in amazing form – Treble winners Bayern are unbeaten in 31 matches, while Sevilla have not suffered defeat in 21 games – the reigning Champions League and Bundesliga Champions are 3/1 favorites to defeat Sevilla, who are 13/2 underdogs. These UEFA Super Cup odds are available through this list of sites, which are specifically for member counties of the EU.

The annual Super Cup fixture was due to take place at the Estádio do Dragão in Porto on August 12, but was relocated to Budapest due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and the postponement of the closing stages of the UEFA Champions League.

The Hungarian capital’s new stadium, which was inaugurated last year, has a highly significant  propaganda value for the Orbán government. Even opposition journalists who usually criticise the government’s excessive stadium building agenda, praised the quality and atmosphere of the new stadium which was partially built for Euro 2020 where Hungary will be hosting a number of group-stage matches as well as a match in the last 16.

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