London’s Wembley Stadium will stage additional Euro 2020 matches after Uefa stripped hosting rights from Brussels.
Euro 2020 will be staged in multiple cities across Europe under a plan forged by former Uefa president Michel Platini.
Uefa, European football’s governing body, said the decision was made by its Executive Committee after the new Eurostadium project in the Belgian capital failed to meet conditions imposed by its meeting in September. The Eurostadium project has been encountering difficulties and Uefa had requested that all relevant permits to start construction, as well as a “realistic and guaranteed” construction schedule, be obtained by November 20.
With this in mind, a fast-track process was started to develop a replacement option. Uefa said these options were Stockholm, Sweden and Cardiff, Wales - both candidates from the original bidding process for Euro 2020. However, it added that Wembley, which has secured the main semi-finals and final hosting package, was the only current host with availability to host all the matches that should be played in Brussels.
Wembley will now take Brussels’ package of three group games and one Round of 16 clash, meaning it will host seven matches in total. Uefa has decided that Rome’s Stadio Olimpico will host the opening match.
The host city pairings have also been decided by means of a random draw – from six different lists of city pairings established on the basis of sporting strength and geographical considerations. Group A will be played in Rome and Baku; Group B in Amsterdam and Bucharest; Group C in Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen; Group D in London and Glasgow; Group E in Bilbao and Dublin; and Group F in Munich and Budapest.
Each qualified host country will play a minimum of two games at home. The full schedule including the knockout games is to be confirmed.
Meanwhile, Uefa has announced that the 10,700-capacity Pabellón Príncipe Felipe in Zaragoza, Spain will host its 2018 Futsal Cup finals in April. There will be two Spanish contenders for the first time since 2006-07, with holders Inter FS and two-time winners Barcelona to be joined by last season's runners-up Sporting CP and Hungary's first semi-finalists Győr.
Since the introduction of the four-team finals in 2007, this will be the fourth event to take place in Spain after Murcia (2007), Lleida (2012) and Guadalajara (2016). Other venues have been Moscow (2008), Ekaterinburg (2009), Lisbon (2010 and 2015), Almaty (2011 and 2017), Tbilisi (2013) and Baku (2014).