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

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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.



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

19 nations bid to host EURO 2020 matches

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UEFA, the governing body of European soccer, has announced that 19 European national soccer associations have submitted bids to host matches during the EURO 2020 championships.

Member associations from across the continent were invited to bid for one of 12 standard packages – which include three group matches and one round of 16 or a quarter-final game – or to host the competition’s semi-final and final.

The member associations to have submitted bids for the standard package are as follows: Azerbaijan (Baku), Belarus (Minsk), Belgium (Brussels), Bulgaria (Sofia), Denmark (Copenhagen), England (London), Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Skopje), Germany (Munich), Hungary (Budapest), Israel (Jerusalem), Italy (Rome), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Republic of Ireland (Dublin), Romania (Bucharest), Russia (Saint Petersburg), Scotland (Glasgow), Spain (Bilbao), Sweden (Stockholm), Wales (Cardiff).

England and Germany have also bid to host the semi-finals and final of what will be the sixtieth edition of the tournament.

“We are extremely happy to have received so many bids to host UEFA EURO 2020,” commented Michel Platini, the President. “The 60th year anniversary edition of the tournament will be an historic one, with matches played in many European countries.

“By spreading the EURO [2020 championship] across our continent, we will allow more fans from more nations to share in the excitement of hosting such a magical event. Member associations will also benefit greatly from this format, since more of them will be exposed to an elite tournament and have the opportunity to increase the development of football in their respective countries. I wish all the candidates the best of luck in this bidding process.”

The organisation’s administrative arm will now evaluate the bids and submit its findings to the UEFA Executive Committee, with the 13 successful bidders set to be unveiled at a ceremony in Geneva on 19th September.

It was announced back in December 2012 that EURO 2020 would be held in multiple nations across the continent in celebration of the tournament’s 60th anniversary.

Source: www.soccerex.comEuro 2020

Glasgow faces Home Nations competition for EURO 2020 according to Scottish FA

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Scotland will need to see off the other Home Nations if Hampden is to be a EURO 2020 venue, says Scottish Football Association (SFA) Chief, Stewart Regan, with Glasgow to face competition from up to 30 cities, including London, Cardiff and Dublin, to stage matches.

Regan said: “It’s highly unlikely that there will be four winning bids from the United Kingdom and Ireland, so our job is to try and convince UEFA that Glasgow is one of the preferred options for that zone, if you like. What we are keen to do is showcase football in Scotland being played at the highest levels.”

The SFA will submit a case to host three group games and a round of 16 tie for the 24-team tournament, with UEFA’s Executive Committee to meet in September to determine the thirteen host cities for EURO 2020.

Regan added: “It’s not about deserving it, it’s about proving you are the right bid at this particular time. Nothing will be handed to Scotland on a plate just because we have a long history of playing football. Our view is that we have got a compelling bid that proves the Scottish FA can put on major events with its partners.”

With Hampden due to host some events at this year’s Commonwealth Games, to add to its role during the 2012 Olympics, Regan says Scotland’s bid has a good chance of success: “There is a track-record of major-event delivery and there is an infrastructure within Glasgow and Scotland, which we believe puts us in a very strong position.”

Should Glagow’s bid – which the SFA formally submitted on Friday – be successful, and Scotland qualify for the competition, two of their group games would be played in Glasgow.

There will be no more than one venue per country and host nations will not qualify automatically. The semi-finals and final will be played at one host stadium.

“What we are keen to do is showcase football in Scotland being played at the highest levels. There is nothing like major events in your home city to generate excitement amongst the kids. We’re really keen to get children interested in the game,” said Regan.

Campbell Ogilvie, the SFA President, described the bid document as “first class” and went on to extol the virtues of Hampden Park, which hosted the Champions League final in 2002 and the 2007 UEFA Cup final.

“The national stadium has played host to some of the greatest players and greatest games of all-time,” he said. “Indeed, Scottish football and Hampden Park are synonymous with excellence on the European stage. I am sure the whole country – and indeed football fans across Europe – would be thrilled by the prospect of the Hampden Roar providing its unique soundtrack to the European Championships in 2020.”


EURO 2020 ‘favourite’ exits bidding process

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The race to host UEFA’s European Championships in 2020 has been thrown wide open with the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) having elected to withdraw its bid in favour of concentrating its efforts on landing the 2024 edition.

The TFF had initially put forward Istanbul as a candidate city for EURO 2020 – which will be held in multiple cities across Europe to mark the tournament’s 60th anniversary – however, it has now confirmed it will instead seek to host the entire competition, rather than share it with other cities.

A statement from the TFF read: “We will soon have the 13 stadiums that suit the capacity-criteria of the European Football Championship. That being the case, Turkey is in a position to host the whole tournament by itself with its communication infrastructure, travel and accommodation opportunities and above all, passion for football. For this reason, our Board today decided not to bid for the semi-final and final games of EURO 2020.”

Friday marked the deadline for submission of final bid dossiers for EURO 2020. European football’s governing body, UEFA, announced in September that 32 of its member associations met the deadline to state their interest in hosting the games, which will be staged in thirteen cities across the continent. The matches will be split into thirteen different packages, with twelve standard packages, including three group matches and one knockout round (round 16 or quarter-final), and one package for the semi-finals and the final.

The TFF had made an official application to UEFA to host the semi-finals and final of EURO 2020 at İstanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium.

Istanbul lost out in its bid to host the 2020 Olympic Games in September – a development that saw it labelled a strong favourite to land the showpiece package of UEFA’s novel concept for its leading national team competition.

UEFA President, Michel Platini, has previously stated that Turkey would be his “preferred choice” to land the semi-finals and final of the competition.

UEFA’s Executive Committee will announce the appointment of EURO 2020’s thirteen host cities on September 25, 2014.