BrandArena: Wembley to host final and semi-finals of Euro 2020

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Wembley to host final and semi-finals of Euro 2020

Wembley Stadium in London
England's Wembley stadium will at last stage another major football tournament after it was awarded the final and semi-finals of Euro 2020 in Geneva on Friday.

Munich withdrew from the final stages bid at the last moment making the choice of London and Wembley by UEFA's executive committee unanimous.

The quarter-finals and three group matches will be held in Munich (Germany), Baku (Azerbaijan), Rome (Italy) and St Petersburg (Russia). Danish capital Copenhagen, Bucharest in Romania, Amsterdam, Irish capital Dublin, Spanish city Bilbao, Hungarian capital Budapest, Brussels and Glasgow will host three group games each, plus one round of 16 match.

Munich was the only other city apart from London to bid for the finals package, although media reports indicate that Germany’s Football Association will now consider a bid to host the entire 2024 tournament.

Uefa’s president, Michel Platini, confirmed that Wembley had been unanimously awarded the so-called “finals package” after the German Football Association, the only rival bid, said it was more interested in hosting Euro 2024 in its entirety and in effect withdrew.

The FA’s chairman, Greg Dyke, said there was no binding deal with the Germans, who will host a quarter-final and three group stage matches instead in Munich’s Allianz Arena, but confirmed it would likely back them for Euro 2024. Glasgow’s Hampden Park and Dublin’s Aviva Stadium will also host three group stage games and one last-16 match each, but Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium narrowly missed out to the disappointment of the Welsh FA.

“Wembley is a great stadium. It’s been completely rebuilt since 1996 and is now a beautiful stadium,” said Dyke, recalling the last time that England hosted a major football tournament at Euro 96.

Wembley staged the Champions League finals for Uefa in both 2011 and 2013, achieving record hospitality figures. The unusual format follows a lack of single-nation bidders for the quadrennial tournament. Turkey had originally appeared set to make a bid before ultimately taking on an ill-fated bid to host the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Istanbul.

Since Uefa’s announcement, regional zones have been introduced in a bid to cut travel times for players, fans and officials. 32 national associations made initial expressions of interest in October last year, with the number dwindling to 19 when formal bids were received earlier this year.

Platini said: ‘This is a historic moment because we'll be able to bring this competition to all the countries of Europe and especially to countries that would never otherwise have the chance to host such a competition.’

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