Trinity has been criticised for having “double standards”, when refusing to host two fan zones for the upcoming Euro 2020 soccer tournament.
Ireland is set to host four matches as part of the tournament in a new initiative which will see the tournament played in various host nations. The tournament is expected to bring 160,000 supporters to the capital to watch the games, which are set to be played in the Aviva Stadium.
The criticism follows Trinity putting its support behind an unsuccessful Irish bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup, with France later awarded the event.
The refusal to host the fan zone was criticised by North Dublin TD Noel Rock, who called it a “double standard”. He went on to ask The Sun newspaper, who reported the story: “How can they say they’re happy to host a rugby fan zone but won’t host a soccer fan zone?” He then urged Trinity to reconsider and said he would “call on the public to put them under pressure to do so”.
The refusal was a result of a failure by College to accommodate “month long activities on campus”. However, it has also been reported that Merrion Square is being reviewed as an alternative location for the “Football Festival Village”, where it will screen three group matches and one knock-out match.
However, it is still believed that Trinity may change its mind and open up the grounds to the festival, and The Sun has reported that “the decision has been made but hopefully this can change”.
The “Football Festival Village” is operating on a tendering process, where the successful bidder will organise a fan zone for the tournament. The estimated value of the tender is expected to be up to €2.9 million, and will be spent over nineteen months. This is expected to be split across the allotted fan zones, and the Host City Dressing Programme and pre-tournament events.