Euro 2020 to be hosted in 13 cities with one city staging final stages

Friday, 25 January 2013
By Duncan Mackay

Euro football trophyJanuary 25 - Euro 2020 will be held in 13 cities across the continent as part of a revolutionary new format, UEFA confirmed today. 

UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino officially revealed more details of their plans, which include that no more than one venue per country would be permitted and that the semi-finals and final would all be played in the same stadium.

Details of the plans had first been revealed on insidethegames last November. 

The venues are due to be chosen in September 2013.

UEFA voted last month to stage the tournament in cities across the continent rather than one or two single host countries, in a radical departure from the traditional format for major tournaments.

European football's governing body said the move would allow smaller countries to be involved in the event as they would not be able to stage unwieldy 24-team tournament on their own.

Host countries will not qualify automatically but if they do, their national team will be guaranteed to play at least two of the three group matches at home, Infantino said at UEFA's headquarters in Nyon.

"The matches of the Euro will be split into 13 packages - 12 cities who will have three group stage matches and one knock-out round match and one city will host the two semi-finals and final," he said.

"There will be only one venue per country, and it means the semi-finals and final will be played in the same venue."

The plan was formulated in the wake of Turkey - who UEFA President Michel Platini wanted to host the tournament following their narrow defeat to France to host Euro 2016 - ruling themselves out after Istanbul decided to bid for the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. 

Under the new proposal, Platini still wants Istanbul to host the semi-finals and final - but only if their Olympic bid is unsuccessful. 

"That would be my vote, but if they get the Olympic Games it's out of the question that they could stage the Euros or a match," he said.

Wembley StadiumWembley Stadium will be the favourite to host the final stages of Euro 2020 if Istanbul are ruled out because of the Olympics

If Istanbul are ruled out then Wembley Stadium in London would be the favourite. 

UEFA also confirmed that two cities with smaller-capacity stadiums will be among the 13 chosen in an effort to allow smaller countries to enter the bidding - only 21 of the 53 UEFA member nations have stadiums of 50,000 or more.

Two host cities can have a stadium capacity as low as 30,000, 10 stadiums will have a 50,000 minimum capacity and four of those hosting the quarter-finals will have grounds of at least 60,000.

The stadium that hosts the two semi-finals and final will have to be able to seat more than 70,000 fans.

Contac the writer of this story at duncan.mackay@insidethegames.biz


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