I will share time with my colleague, the Minister of State, Deputy Griffin. This evening's debate is an opportunity for Deputies to air their views on the pandemic's impact on sport. I look forward to hearing their ideas and suggestions.
I do not pretend that we have all the answers at this point, far from it. Many questions remain to be answered. Although considerable uncertainty still prevails for Irish sport, we are much better placed now than we were at the launch of the Government's Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business, which was accelerated last Friday as a result of the progress made in April and May in fighting the pandemic.
I understand that the Irish sporting community was pleasantly surprised at the extent of the references to sport in the roadmap and the clarity provided for each of the five initial phases, which are now four. It does not answer every question for every sport but it does give a vital planning framework. We are now a few days into phase 2. There already are nearly 20 outdoor-only sports that have restarted, in accordance with various public health requirements. As that is about a third of all sports in Ireland, we are making headway. There are, however, considerable challenges ahead. No one is confidently predicting an early return to the exact situation that prevailed before the pandemic. There certainly will be a new normal for sport.
I acknowledge there is disappointment in this House and across the country that the big-attendance field sports are not covered in the early phases. We are all missing the excitement of those big match days, all the more so given the glorious weather of recent weeks. People may feel as though those days will never return but I wish to sound a positive note today. There are huge challenges ahead, especially for mass gatherings, but I am convinced that solutions will be found that work for everybody, both for public health and the viability of sport.
I was encouraged to hear over the last weekend the planned resumption of intercounty GAA matches later in the year and the resumption of training by four League of Ireland clubs.
Further afield, soccer is resuming, with limited spectators, in some European countries and rugby will shortly follow in New Zealand. I think we can take heart at these developments.
As with other sectors, Irish sport has been hit hard by this crisis. The Government has taken a cross-sectoral approach where the aim has been to stabilise the situation. The Government's overarching cross-sectoral approach to the Covid-19 pandemic was designed to ensure that economic activity recovers as quickly as possible, consistent with public health advice.
The cross-sectoral measures introduced by the Government to date have benefited national and local sporting organisations and have been widely welcomed. They include, in particular, the temporary wage subsidy scheme, the pandemic unemployment payment and the series of enterprise supports ranging from liquidity funding, loan schemes and grants vouchers, as well as deferred tax payments and the deferral of commercial rates.
As to whether further supports will be needed, I think the answer is almost certainly "Yes". Discussions are under way but not yet concluded. The details will need to be worked on and we will liaise closely with the sector. Not all sports organisations have been affected to the same extent. The most acutely affected are those with summer seasons and with a heavy reliance on gate receipts. A targeted and focused response is clearly appropriate in these circumstances.
Despite the current difficult situation we must continue to work towards hosting such major events as the postponed UEFA football championships. As Members are aware, Dublin was due to host four games this year and an economic impact study commissioned by Dublin City Council indicated that up to 96,000 overseas visitors were expected to attend, delivering an economic impact of up to €126 million. UEFA sought confirmation from the governing authorities of the 12 host cities that they were willing and able to host in June and July of 2021. The Government has reconfirmed the guarantees required and I have written to the president of UEFA confirming that Ireland will host next year's Euro 2020 matches. The Government remains fully committed to working with all of the local organisations and with UEFA to mount a very successful UEFA Euro 2020 in Dublin in 2021. Obviously, we live in very uncertain and trying times but the rescheduled tournament will provide a much-needed economic, social and sporting boost for the country. I will hand over to the Minister of State, Deputy Griffin.