UEFA made a huge announcement tonight regarding the format of the EURO 2020 football championships. The Daily Shift’s Kevin Bolger has more…
UEFA earlier tonight announced at a press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, that EURO 2020 will be held in various cities across Europe as opposed to the traditional format where by one or two countries would host the games.
The idea of a “Euro for Europe” was originally floated during the EURO 2012 tournament by UEFA president Michel Platini. Since then, UEFA have been hard at work in developing the idea.
It was then put to all of UEFA’s 53 national associations for feedback which was described by UEFA general secretary Giani Infantino as “extremely positive” prompting the decision to go ahead with the concept.
While most nations were in favour of the idea, Infantino had to point out that Senes Erzik of Turkey was against it – Turkey having made the original bid to host the games when the bidding opened back in March.
Ireland, Wales and Scotland too made a joint bid after Turkey and the decision by UEFA to host the games in various cities across Europe has the associations feeling quite positive of their chances of hosting some of the Championships games.
The FA too are known to have already put forward Wembley as a possible venue for the latter stages of the tournament. This is a practically a shoe in for the English FA as UEFA are known to have a very high opinion of the national venue. Having successfully hosted the Champions league final there in 2011, UEFA have chosen the FA HQ for the 2013 finals as well.
The FAI will be keen to point out the Aviva’s successful hosting of the Europa League final to enhance their bid in the coming weeks.
The decision has raised many questions such as, why? According to UEFA, it has its roots in financial reasons as concerns have been raised over the financial pressure hosting an entire games can put on a single FA – especially following EURO 2012 (which was hosted by Poland and Ukraine).
Certainly the logistics responsibilities for the different FA’s will be lessened, but one would have to worry about the logistical impact this will have on the fans of teams if they had to travel all over Europe to follow their team.
However, it is premature to voice complaints over the proposed games as Giani Infantino has said, the format of the competition has yet to be decided and will take some weeks before they are decided upon. Once the host cities and competition format have been chosen, it will be put forward t the UEFA National team committee.
Concerns though should be raised, and one would hope that UEFA will take in to consideration the logistical pressure trekking across Europe from game to game will put on fans. According to UEFA general secretary Giani Infantino “the cities to host the competition have not yet been elected, but this is expected to happen in the close future”.
“The main decision today by the committee was that the EURO 2020 finals tournament will be staged across the continent” said Giani as he welcomed the press to Lausanne. While the door is now closed for a joint bid by Wales, Scotland and Ireland, the door is still firmly open for Dublin and the FAI to bring part of the games to the Republic.