Uefa has confirmed Wembley Stadium will host the semi-finals and final of its Euro 2020 competition, as European soccer’s governing body announced the 13 cities which will host its pan-continent tournament.
Munich, Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, St Petersburg and Rome will each host three group games and a quarter final.
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.
Of the 19 bidders, Cardiff, Macedonian capital Skopje, Bulgarian capital Sofia, Stockholm, Jerusalem and Belarusian capital Minsk missed out entirely.
Munich was the only other city apart from London to bid for the finals package, although rumours have swirled for some time that Germany’s Football Association will now consider a bid to host the entire 2024 tournament.
Wembley is a well-known Uefa venue, achieving record hospitality figures when it staged the Champions League finals of 2011 and 2013. The previous version of the stadium hosted the final of Euro 1996, which was played in England.
Uefa’s president Michel Platini first announced the ‘Euro for Europe’ concept in December 2012, following a lack of single-nation bidders for the quadrennial tournament. Turkey, which appeared primed to make a bid, ultimately decided to pursue what turned out to be an ill-fated bid to host the 2020 summer Olympic Games in Istanbul, prompting Uefa’s decision to adopt the unusual format.
Since Uefa’s announcement, which it has badged as a way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the tournament, some of the many logistical challenges posed by the pan-continent approach have been ironed out, notably through the introduction of 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.
The Uefa executive committee voted on the bids in Geneva on Friday morning, ahead of the public announcement. “It promises to be an amazing journey for European football,” said Gianni Infantino, Uefa’s secretary general, as the host announcement ceremony began on Friday lunchtime.
Semi finals and final
Reaction from the Football Association was immediate, with chairman Greg Dyke describing himself as "proud" of the Wembley bid and its "strong commitment to our 'football for everyone' goal". He added: "Making Uefa Euro 2020 a tournament that is open and inclusive was a huge focus." London mayor Boris Johnson said: “I know that Wembley Stadium, the city and our passionate army of football fans will put on an extraordinary and spectacular event."
Quarter final game and three group games
Munich, St Petersburg, Baku and Rome
Munich bid for both the finals and standard package of games. Matches be played at Bayern Munich's Allianz Arena, which will be expanded to seat 75,000. More controversial is the selection of St Petersburg, on Russia's east coast. The New Zenit Stadium, which will seat 69,500 and is currently under construction, will host games just two years after staging Fifa World Cup matches. The rise of Azerbaijan as a host of major events continues, meanwhile, with Euro 2020 games joining next year's European Games and, from 2016, an annual Formula One race on the city's sporting calendar. Rome’s games will be played at a renovated Stadio Olimpico rather than at AS Roma’s privately-funded new arena in the city, which is due for completion in August 2016.
Round of 16 game and three group games
Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Brussels and Glasgow
Four Euro 2022 matches will be played at Copenhagen's Telia Parken, which staged the 2000 Uefa Cup final between Arsenal and Galatasaray. The stadium, which has a capacity for fewer than 40,000 people will be the smallest in use at Euro 2020. The Europa Cup final venues of 2011, 2012 and 2013 have all been selected - Dublin's 51,700-seat Aviva Stadium, Bucharest's 55,600-capacity Arena National and the Amsterdam Arena, which will have an increased capacity of between 55,000 and 56,000. Spain will be represented by Bilbao's San Mamés Stadium, which can seat 53,332, while Euro 2000 host Brussels will stage games in the city's proposed new national stadium, due to be completed in 2018. Glasgow's Hampden Park, the host of the Champions League final in 2002, was the final venue to be selected. Hampden is currently undergoing renovation work to turn it back into a soccer venue, following its use as a track and field facility during July's Commonwealth Games.
Cardiff, Skopje, Sofia, Stockholm, Jerusalem and Minsk
The Football Association of Wales, which had spearheaded a bid to bring games to Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, said it was “extremely disappointed” by the decision not to select it as a host city. There was also disappointment for Stockholm, which had submitted a bid centred around the 50,000-capacity Friends Arena in the Solna area of the city. Sofia's plans for a new stadium appear to now be at an end - construction was dependent on gaining Euro 2020 games - while Skopje's bid was criticised for a lack of detail by Uefa in its pre-vote evaluation report; with a capacity of just 32,483, the National Arena Philip II did not meet Uefa's requirements. Belarusian capital Minsk, meanwhile, had planned to stage games at a €115 million new stadium, which will be used on a regular basis by Dinamo Minsk. The project is due for completion in 2019. Jerusalem's bid, built around the city's 32,000 Teddy Stadium which is due for completion in 2019, was always considered unlikely to win a package of matches - Uefa only lifted its ban on Israel hosting games, implemented for security reasons, on Thursday.