Justin Bieber causes UEFA rethink
On Tuesday we found out the complete line-up for the Nations League Final Four in 2023, but there may be a pop-sized spanner in the works.
The Final Four of the Nations League will be held in the Netherlands, pending confirmation by the UEFA Executive Committee, but the venues will not be the usual ones because the cultural agenda has been moved ahead of the sporting one. Specifically, a series of Justin Bieber concerts are scheduled for June 11, 13 and 14 at the Ziggo Dome, the venue next to the Amsterdam Arena. De Toppers are also scheduled to perform on those days.
How Bieber beat UEFA over venue priority
For security reasons, it is unfeasible for both events to coincide, so the Oranje will not be able to use the stadium where they normally play their home games. The Final Four will be held from June 14 to 18. In addition to Amsterdam, Eindhoven also has concerts scheduled for those days (in particular one by Guus Meeuwis), which has led the Dutch federation to offer, almost as a unique alternative, the stadiums of Rotterdam and Enschede as venues.
The former, De Kuip, has no problems associated with it as the Netherlands have played there at home before and are expected to be able to host a semi-final and final. The Enschede venue does, however, offer a few more drawbacks. For starters, it has a capacity of 30,205, a little short of UEFA’s wishes, and it has hardly hosted any international team matches.
The Netherlands was chosen as the location after having won Group 4 of the Nations League, the group in which the four countries bidding to host the Final Four were drawn. UEFA must give the go-ahead once it has analyzed the two stadiums offered by the local federation. It cannot be the Amsterdam stadium, thanks to Bieber mania so the tournament looks all set be held in Rotterdam.