In a recent interview, Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge revealed that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferinis considering holding this year’s European Championship in a single country instead of the multi-city venue per the original plan. The 2020 edition, brainchild of former UEFA president Michel Platini, was planned to be the first staged in 12 cities across the continent.
In 2014, UEFA have allocated fixtures in 12 cities across Europe, with the semis and final to be held at Wembley Stadium.Initially, Munich, Rome, St Petersburg and Baku will host quarter-finals as well as group-stage clashes, while Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Glasgow and Budapest are the other venues, staging group-stage and last-16 encounters.
“One must not forget that the idea of this special tournament was born when the coronavirus did not yet exist,” Rummenigge told Munich-based newspapers. “At the time, it was an initiative of the EU Commission, which wanted football to be represented throughout Europe.” It is learnt that COVID-19 pandemic also forced the delay of the tournament, which is originally scheduled summer last year.
“But I know that UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin – who is incredibly careful with Covid-19 – is thinking about whether it wouldn’t make more sense… to play the tournament in just one country,” Rummenigge added. UEFA has earlier said it is planning for different scenarios in all of Euro 2020’s host cities.Ceferin himself said that there will be “backup options” in case a host country faced a problem.
“We are ready to organise competitions in 11, 10 or nine cities… and even only in one country, if necessary. However, I am 99.9 per cent sure that we will have the European Championship in all 12 cities, as planned,” Ceferin. The European football governing body chief has earlier insisted that he’s desperate for full houses at next summer’s Finals.
Meanwhile, a UEFA spokesman did not deny the possibility of one host nation, but said there is “no information” and “no comment” to make at this stage. “In agreement with the 12 cities, we are currently working on four scenarios – full stadiums, stadiums between 50 and 100 per cent full, 20 to 30 per cent full, and behind closed doors,” the spokesman added.
The host cities have been asked to come up with two to three plans out of those options and it is possible different approaches will be taken in each venue. “A decision on which scenario will be applied individually in each city during the tournament will be made on 5 March, 2021,” UEFA said in a statement. The rescheduled Euro 2020 will take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021.