Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Uefa confirms Euro 2020 to be hosted across Europe

'We will have the biggest party ever organised across Europe'

MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team prepare to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Fans pack Cibeles Square as they wait for Spain's national soccer team to arrive in Madrid Monday July 2, 2012. Spain won the Euro 2012 soccer championship final against Italy in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday. (AP Photo/Paul White)
Spain's soccer team players show the Euro cup as they wave to supporters at Cibeles Square in Madrid, Spain, Monday, July 2, 2012. Spain won the Euro 2012 soccer championship final against Italy in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday. (AP Photo/Alberto Di Lolli)
Spanish fans take photos as a smoke flare is released as the team arrive in Cibeles Square in Madrid Monday July 2, 2012. Spain won the Euro 2012 soccer championship final against Italy in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday. (AP Photo/Paul White)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Cesc Fabregas of Spain holds the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy while celebrating with fellow players as they parade the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Gerard Pique holds the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy aloft beside team-mate Fernando Llorente while celebrating with fellow players as they parade the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Fernando Torres (R) of Spain holds the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy aloft while celebrating with fellow players as they parade the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Jordi Alba (C) of Spain celebrates with team-mates as they parade the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus in Cibeles Square on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Smoke from flares dissipates over a crowd of supporters as the Spain team celebrates with the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus during the Spanish team's victory parade on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Spain players celebrate with their fans and the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus during the Spanish team's victory parade on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team prepare to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team prepare to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team hold a home-made replica trophy aloft to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team wrap themselves in the national flag as they prepare to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team are hosed down by a fireman before congratulating their team's players on their return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Spain Football team players celebrate with the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus during the Spanish team's victory parade on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: The double-decker bus carrying the Spain Football team as they celebrate with the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy during the Spanish team's victory parade on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Iker Casillas of Spain presents King Juan Carlos I of Spain (R) with a replica shirt as the King receives members of Spain's victorious UEFA EURO 2012 football squad at Zarzuela Palace on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pool/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Spain Football team players celebrate with the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus during the Spanish team's victory parade on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
IN FLIGHT - JULY 02: In this handout image supplied by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, Head Coach Vicente del Bosque of Spain poses with the trophy following his team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match against Italy onboard the Spain team's airplane during their flight back to Madrid on July 2, 2012 in flight. (Photo by Carmelo Rubio Sanchez/RFEF via Getty Images)
IN FLIGHT - JULY 02: In this handout image supplied by the Royal Spanish Football Federation, (L-R) Pepe Reina, Santi Cazorla, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso of Spain celebrate following their team's victory in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match against Italy onboard the Spain team's airplane during their flight back to Madrid on July 2, 2012 in flight. (Photo by Carmelo Rubio Sanchez/RFEF via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: An Iberia plane carrying the Spanish team arrives at Barajas airport on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: A Spain supporter flies the national flag as large crowds wait for the arrival of the Spain team parading the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy on a double-decker bus in Cibeles Square on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Spain's national soccer team captain Iker Casillas, centre gives the Euro 2012 trophy to Spain's King Juan Carlos, left watched by coach Vicente del Bosque, right at the Zarzuela Palace in Madrid, July 2, 2012, a day after winning the trophy by beating Italy in the final in Kiev. (AP Photo/Dominique Faget, Pool)
GALAWAY, IRELAND - JULY 03: Team Telefonica, skippered by Iker Martinez from Spain celebrate finishing leg 9 from Lorient, France during the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 on July 3, 2012 in Galaway, Ireland. (Photo by Ian Roman/Volvo Ocean Race via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Princess Elena of Spain attends celebrations for the Spanish UEFA EURO 2012 victory in Cibeles square on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine July 1, 2012. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team prepare to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team prepare to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team prepare to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team are hosed down by a fireman before congratulating their team's players on their return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team are hosed down by a fireman before congratulating their team's players on their return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team prepare to congratulate their team's players as they return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Cesc Fabregas of Spain holds the UEFA EURO 2012 trophy aloft as he celebrates with team-mates during a victory parade on an open-top bus on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Two Spain supporters take a photograph of themselves draped in the national flag as they prepare to congratulate their team's players on their return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team are hosed down by a fireman before congratulating their team's players on their return to Madrid following their victory in UEFA EURO 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JULY 02: Supporters of Spain's national football team fly the national flag as they congratulate their team's players on their return to Madrid following their victory in Euro 2012 football championships on July 2, 2012 in Madrid, Spain. Spain beat Italy 4-0 in the UEFA EURO 2012 final match in Kiev, Ukraine, on July 1, 2012. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Uefa confirmed last night that it would break with decades of tradition by holding the 2020 European Championship across the whole continent, opening the door for Wembley to host another major final.

Rather than staging the tournament in one country, as will happen with France in 2016, or two, as Poland and Ukraine did earlier this year, Uefa announced it would pursue plans to hold Euro 2020 in various cities across Europe. Uefa said the tournament would be a “Euro for Europe”.



“The Uefa 2020 final tournament will be staged across the continent in various major cities through Europe following a decision taken today,” said Uefa secretary general Gianni Infantino after a meeting of the executive committee.



There will be a bidding process between cities to host matches, starting early next year and ending early in 2014. All of the major stadiums of Europe will want to host the final but there was a sense of confidence and optimism at Wembley last night over plans, as the ground hopes to stage the European Championship final, as it did in its original form in 1996.



The fact that Wembley hosted the Champions League final in 2011 and will do so again next year is one of the main reasons for the feeling at Wembley that the national stadium is in such a strong position in the application process.



Wembley also staged the finals of the men’s and women’s football at the Olympic Games earlier this summer, the last major final between international teams to be played there.



While the competition to host the major games of Euro 2020 will be fierce, with obvious strong candidates in Spain, Italy and Germany, the recent visit of the Fifa president, Sepp Blatter, to St George’s Park with the Football Association chairman, David Bernstein, points to improved relations between the FA and the governing bodies based in continent Europe.



There have been fears that taking the tournament out of one or two countries would destroy their unique atmosphere, but Infantino insisted that would not be the case. When asked whether Uefa would ‘kill the party’, Infantino was adamant: “No, we think we are going to boost the party. Instead of a party in one country, we will have the biggest party ever organised across Europe.” While no decisions have been made on format or numbers, Infantino said that fans in “10, 12, 15” countries may be able to cheer on their home teams.



Infantino said that in economically difficult times, the costs of hosting a tournament could be spread between countries, forcing less investment in stadiums and infrastructure.



“The economic situation is such that you can’t expect countries to invest in sporting facilities that such an event requires,” he said.



“The fact that the Euro moves from 16 to 24 teams [as it will do in 2016] bears an additional burden on a country to host the event.”

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