Earlier this week, the head of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2020 have announced over 40 Russian cities across the country are set to be a “fan zone” areas for fans who wishes to witness football action in the postponed Euro 2020 next year, if the coronavirus remains uncontainable as the tournament commence.
“Numerous cities, which earlier announced their decision to organize such Fan Zones, later stated that they would make a final decision next year,” Sorokin said. “I’m positive that the majority of these cities will stick to their initial decision,” LOC head Alexei Sorokin said. Held every four years, Euro is considered the most popular football tournament next to the World Cup in terms of international prestige.
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 However, Brussels later withdrawn their staging participation when a stadium construction lacked support from local authorities.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. Russia’s second largest city of Saint Petersburg will stage all matches of Russia in the tournament next year.
Home to FC Zenit Saint Petersburg since April 2017, Saint Petersburg Stadium held seven fixtures at the 2018 World Cup.The stadium was built on the location where the former Kirov Stadium used to stand before it was demolished.Matches to be staged in this arena are: Belgium v Russia; Finland v Russia; Finland v Belgium; Quarter final: W41 v W42.
Earlier this year, Russian vice president Dmitry Chernyshenko confirmed that the country was willing to host more Euro 2020 matches if necessary. “We would like to offer UEFA more possibilities and host more matches in our country,” Chernyshenko said. At the time of writing, Russia has the fourth most number of coronavirus cases with nearly a million reported infection and more than 16,000 deaths.
The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup were initially scheduled to be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), St. Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
In March, UEFA announced that their largest European Championship men’s soccer tournament was called off and will resume after a year due to the threat of global pandemic, COVID, which is currently crippling European countries. The EURO 2020 will now take place from June 11 to July 11 in 2021. The venues for the said competition to be staged next year confirmed to be the same.