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BREAKING NEWS: London to host the semi-finals and final of the ‘EURO for Europe’ championships in 2020

London’s Wembley Stadium will host the final and semi-finals of UEFA’s EURO 2020 championships, while Baku, Munich, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Brussels and Glasgow will host the events group matches.

The staging of UEFA’s EURO 2020 across Europe promises to provide a memorable football festival throughout the continent – and provides some countries and cities with the opportunity to be part of a tournament they may otherwise not be able to host.

UEFA’s Executive Committee decided in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 6 December 2012 to stage a “EURO for Europe” in 2020, rather than a tournament in one or two host countries. The move followed an initial idea revealed by UEFA President Michel Platini at the end of UEFA EURO 2012. The Executive Committee also took its decision in the wake of positive feedback from its member national associations as part of a consultation process that took place in recent months.

Back in January 2013, the Executive Committee decided that the UEFA EURO 2020 final round would be staged in 13 cities around Europe, and approved the key event and football principles for the “EURO for Europe”, which include:

• The matches will be split into 13 different packages, with 12 ordinary packages including three group matches and one knockout round game (round of 16 or quarter-final) apiece, and one package for the semi-finals and the final
• There will be a maximum of one venue per country, meaning one stadium for each of the available 13 packages. Both semi-finals and the final will be played in one stadium

Following today’s decision by UEFA’s Executive Committee, the UEFA EURO 2020 hosts have been confirmed as folows:

England/London – semi-finals and final

Azerbaijan/Baku – three group games, one quarter-final
Belgium/Brussels – three group games, one round of 16 game
Denmark/Copenhagen – three group games, one round of 16 game
Germany/Munich – three group games, one quarter-final
Hungary/Budapest – three group games, one round of 16 game
Italy/Rome – three group games, one quarter-final
Netherlands/Amsterdam – three group games, one round of 16 game
Republic of Ireland/Dublin – three group games, one round of 16 game
Romania/Bucharest – three group games, one round of 16 game
Russia/Saint Petersburg – three group games, one quarter-final
Scotland/Glasgow – three group games, one round of 16 game
Spain/Bilbao – three group games, one round of 16 game

England previously staged EURO ’96, with Germany beating the Czech Republic 2-1 in the final at Wembley. Of the other host cities announced in Geneva today, Munich (1988), Rome (1968, 1980) and Brussels (1972) have all held UEFA European Championship final matches in the past.

UEFA General Secretary, Gianni Infantino, pointed to the fact that a number of reflections had led to the Executive Committee’s decision, as he explained:

Let me say it is a decision only about 2020. 2020 is the 60th anniversary of the European Football Championship. Obviously the fact that the EURO will feature 24 teams instead of 16 puts an additional burden on countries hosting such an event. It becomes much more difficult for many countries – the requirements are becoming bigger and bigger.

An opportunity like this, to give many cities and many countries the possibility to host even just one part of a EURO, is certainly an excellent thing, especially in times when you have an economic situation where you cannot expect countries to invest in the facilities such an event requires. Certainly one of the purposes of this decision is to help countries who are perhaps not sure today whether they should build a national stadium – giving them the impetus to build such a stadium. Instead of having a party in one country, we will have a party all over Europe in 2020.

At the XXXVII Ordinary UEFA Congress in London last year, UEFA President Michel Platini, the initiator of the idea, expressed great anticipation for UEFA EURO 2020:

In 2020, the EURO will never have better lived up to its name. It will be decidedly continental and profoundly European. It will be a EURO of unity and shared experiences. It will, of course, be a new challenge – a challenge of a new kind … [and with] one single language: football.

 

Source: UEFA.com

Image credits & caption: The Henri Delaunay Cup at today’s UEFA EURO 2020 hosts announcement in Geneva. ©UEFA.com