AFP / File / ADRIAN DENNIS
Wembley Stadium in London will host seven matches in total for the Euro 2020 tournament, including the two semi-finals and the final on July 12, 2020
Wembley Stadium in London will host euro 2020 UEFA Europa League, UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin said on Thursday. Brussels has been selected to host this European edition of the European Championship – to celebrate the tournament’s 60th anniversary – held within the continent rather than a single country host.
But the European football governing body’s executive committee decided unanimously to strip of its territory to the inability of Belgian organizers to guarantee the new stadium where they would have been held. Wembley will now host seven games in total, having already been allocated the semi-finals and the final on July 12, 2020. UEFA also announced the opening game on June 12, 2020, would be held at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. Due to the Eurostadium project’s failure to meet the conditions imposed by the UEFA Executive Committee during its meeting of 20 September 2017, the four matches (three group, one round of 16) is scheduled to be held in London Wembley Stadium following a vote by the committee, “said Ceferin. “We discussed with Brussels for quite a long time, they were not able to provide us with all the documentation. “Until today we do not know if they can build a stadium or not. “They still do not have the documents, they had time to today’s executive committee and they did not do it. “We have a letter today that will make a final decision but the decision – yes or no – they do not know. “Experts from the administration had the opinion it was a high risk for UEFA if we wait.” The company contracted to build the stadium in the northern suburbs of Grimbergen, BTP Ghelamco, said they were able to build capacity in the Eurostadium in 18 months, but the Flanders region is still under construction. – ‘Not the end’ – “Right up until the last moment we have the utmost to try to get an extra delay from UEFA, but we respect their decision,” said the Belgian federation in a statement. However they said UEFA’s decision “does not necessarily mean the end of the stadium project”. “We absolutely need a new 45,000-capacity stadium and we hope the competent ministers grant a permit for the 21st century,” said federation president Gerard Linard. Brussels is hoping to build a new stadium ever since the Heysel stadium disaster, when 39 people died before the start of the 1985 European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool. A refurbished Heysel, called the King Baudouin Stadium, staged matches at Euro 2000, which Belgium co-hosted with the Netherlands. A draw was also held on Thursday to decide which cities would host games from the various groups. Rome and Baku will host Group A, St. Petersburg and Copenhagen Group B, Amsterdam and Bucharest Group C, London and Glasgow Group D, Bilbao and Dublin Group E, with Munich and Budapest the Group. If they qualify, England and Scotland would be in the same group if they both reach the finals. Likewise world champions Germany would be paired with Hungary. UEFA also decides on the seedings and draw procedure for the new UEFA Nations League, which will replace the most important potential players in the European Championship. The draw will take place on January 24. UEFA said Russia and Ukraine would be kept in the group stage, as would Armenia and Azerbaijan. A conflict between the first two broke out in 2014 that resulted in Russia annexing Crimea from Ukraine, while the second two fought a war in the early 1990s that never resulted in a peace treaty.
AFP / File / ADRIAN DENNIS