Wembley handed hosting duties for Euro 2020 final and semis
England and London’s 90k-capacity Wembley has been chosen as the stadium of choice to host both Euro 2020 semis and the final, beating off competition from Munich’s Allianz Arena.
The German ground will instead hold a quarter-final and three group games, along with Baku (Azerbaijan), St Petersburg (Russia) and Rome (Italy).
Dublin’s Aviva stadium, in the Republic of Ireland, and Scotland’s Hampden Park in Glasgow, meanwhile, have been picked to host a last 16 fixture and three group matches as well. Copenhagen (Denmark), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary) and Brussels (Belgium) are the other cities picked for those stages.
Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, which was a contender along with 18 other cities, though, has missed out on the tournament altogether. The announcement was made by UEFA president Michel Platini in Geneva on Friday September 19th.
It will be the first time that a ground in England has hosted the European Championship since 1996, when the Three Lions were losing semi-finalists. They won’t, however, be able to use home advantage until the last four this time around. Grounds in Scotland and Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, will be hosts for the first time at any major tournament finals.
In all, there will be 51 games played at Euro 2020, which will be held across 13 cities in Europe, as a mark of the 60th year since the tournament’s inception in 1960 – when France (also hosts in 2016) held the competition.
Current England skipper Wayne Rooney, who will be 34, will be hoping to be involved, perhaps in a role further back. It is likely that present Three Lions boss Roy Hodgson, though, 73 in 2020, will have retired by then.
Among those delighted with the appointment of Wembley was Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, who said: “Great news, it will be a very special Euros, it is fantastic news. I hope to be there as a fan not a manager.”
England FA chairman Greg Dyke, meanwhile, said: “It will be a great honour to be part of what will surely be a superb celebration of 60 years of the UEFA European Championship. My thanks go to all our partners in the bid – particularly the Government, Greater London Authority and the mayor of London – and of course to UEFA President Michel Platini and the UEFA Executive Committee. I also congratulate all of the other successful bidding nations.”