euro 2020, uefa
UEFA President Michel Platini, right, sitting next to UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino, left, opens the UEFA Executive Committee media conference at the UEFA Headquarters. -Photo by AP

NYON: Euro 2020 will be held in 13 cities across the continent and the two semi-finals and final will all be played in the same stadium, UEFA said on Friday as it announced the first concrete plans for the tournament.

UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said that no more than one venue per country would be permitted for the 24-team tournament and venues would be chosen in September next year.

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

European soccer's governing body said the move would allow smaller countries a slice of the action as they would not be able to stage the unwieldy 24-team tournament on their own.

Twelve cities will be awarded a package of three group games plus one knockout-stage game, with the 13th receiving a “special package” consisting of the two semi-finals and final.

UEFA said that its associations could present up to two bids each, one for the knockout package matches and one for the final plus semi-finals.

The required stadium capacities would be 70,000 for the semi-finals and final, 60,000 for the quarter-finals and 50,000 for the group stage and round of 16 matches, although two exceptions would be made where 30,000 capacity stadiums would be permitted.

“The 30,000 rule means that many more countries will be able to bid,” said UEFA president Michel Platini.

Candidate countries would have to submit their bids by September, UEFA said.

The 24 teams will be divided into six groups of four and a maximum of two host teams will be drawn into each group. Each qualified host would be guaranteed two home games in the group stage, but could not be guaranteed home games in the knockout stages.

Euro 2020 marks the competition's 60th anniversary.

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Comments (1)

Ali Vaqar Awan
January 25, 2013 8:33 pm
A great way to make mockery of hosting a game. Totally unusual and worthless idea to brought forward by Michael Platini. FIFA should take strict action against UEFA for taking this bad step.
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