Earlier this week, acting Lib Dem leader Sir Ed Davey has written to the English football governing body Football Associatio (FA) and Union of European Football Associations (UEFA to have the postponed Euro 2020 games played across the UK as a boost for the country’s recovery. Originally, three England games, a last 16 matches and both semi-finals and the final are set to be played in Wembley.
According to Sir Ed Davey, these matches “give a kick-start to places hit hard by COVID”. They are calling for games to be played at St James’ Park, in Newcastle, Old Trafford, in Manchester, Anfield, in Liverpool, and Leicester’s King Power stadium instead. The UK’s largest stadium and home to the English Football Association, Wembley Stadium is the centrepiece of the Euro 2020 finals.
“If it is safe, I want Boris Johnson to get his Government to work with UEFA and make use of the fantastic stadiums around the country. Let’s show off our whole country – we’re proud of every town and city, not just London,” Sir Ed Davey told a news portal. “Currently England are scheduled to play all their group games in London. Wembley is also hosting a last 16 game, the semi-finals and final.”
Matches to be played in Wembley are England v Croatia England v Play-off winner C ; Czech Republic v England; Round of 16: 1A v 2C; Semi-final: W46 v W45; Semi-final: W48 v W47; Final: W49 v W50. “England has some fantastic stadia across the country and it feels like a missed opportunity not to spread the joy that these games will bring and the inevitable boost to the economy around the regions”
“If it can be done, in a safe way, I’d urge you to work with UEFA to explore the possibility at spreading both the Euro 2020 fixtures and England’s warm-up games out around the country, in the same way that you have been able to do with the Women’s European Championship in 2022,” Sir Ed Davey added. The FA said Euro scheduling was down to UEFA, and the governing body did not reply to comment.
Wembley was chosen as the semi-final and final venue of the tournament by the UEFA Executive Committee in 2014, having been selected by acclamation after the finals package bid of the Allianz Arena in Munich was withdrawn. Allianz, however, is still part of the tournament as one of the venues but the centrepiece goes to its English counterpart.
In 2014, UEFA have allocated fixtures in 13 cities across Europe. However, Brussels later withdrawn their staging participation when a stadium construction lacked support from local authorities. The four games in Brussels were allocated to Wembley Stadium in London. Held every four years, Euro is considered the most popular football tournament next to the World Cup in terms of international prestige.
Held every four years, Euro 2020 is considered the most popular football tournament next to the World Cup in terms of international prestige. In March, a tough decision was made by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), as their largest European Championship men’s soccer tournament was called off due to the threat of global pandemic.