Thursday 14 December 2017

Euro 2020 will be held in cities across Europe, UEFA decides

Spain became the first team to win three major international football tournaments in a row when they thrashed Italy 4 - 0 in the final of Euro 2012
Spain became the first team to win three major international football tournaments in a row when they thrashed Italy 4 - 0 in the final of Euro 2012

Brian Homewood

THE European Championship in 2020 will be staged in cities across the continent to spread the financial load of hosting the tournament, European soccer's governing body UEFA said today.

The decision made today by Uefa's executive committee means no one country will be hosting the tournament.

The idea was floated by Uefa president Michel Platini some time ago amid concerns about the cost and capabilities of a single nation staging the tournament, and the logistical issues arising from joint bids, such as this year's tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

The English FA has already put Wembley forward as a potential venue for the latter stages of the tournament and will be hopeful of securing the showpiece matches.

Ireland, Wales and Scotland will also be hopeful of staging games having already expressed an interest.

Having failed in a bid for the 2022 World Cup and having not staged a major football tournament since Euro 96, the English FA are likely to make a serious push for consideration.

FA chairman David Bernstein met Platini in September during which the change of format was discussed.

Uefa are known fans of England's national stadium. After staging the 2011 Champions League final at the venue, European football's governing body were so impressed they agreed to stage the final again in 2013 in what will be the climax to this season's tournament.

Wembley raked in a huge revenue for both Uefa and FA during the 2011 final in which Barcelona beat Manchester United.

Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino told a press conference after today's meeting: "Some important decisions have been taken.

"Uefa Euro 2020 will be staged across the continent, in various major cities, following a decision taken today. A Euro for Europe follows an initial idea by Uefa president Michel Platini.

"The response has been extremely positive from all the national associations."

The specific format of the tournament has yet to be agreed upon, but ideas put forward include a single country staging the climax of the tournament including the semi-finals and final. This is understood to be the preference of Platini.

The bidding process for the host cities will start in March, with the decision on those that have been successful being announced in spring of 2014.

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