UEFA confirms retaining all 12 host cities to stage Euro 2020 next year

In a statement earlier this week, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has confirmed retaining all 12 host cities to stage Euro 2020 now due in 2021. The decision includes the dates for the play-offs and the schedule of the new fixture for next year’s event. Euro 2020, as it is still called even though it will commence in 2021, was postponed in the wake of the global pandemic.

“The 12 original host cities have been confirmed as venues for the final tournament in the summer of 2021,” UEFA said in a statement. Traditionally, the European Championship is being hosted by one country or with co-hosts, but UEFA opted for a multi-city approach, for the first time, in 2014 to celebrate the tournament’s 60th anniversary.

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).

Aside the confirmation, UEFA also announced that the play-offs for Euro 2020 will be played in October and November 2020. Scotland are at home to Israel while Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland face trips to Bosnia-Herzegovina and Slovakia respectively in October. The play-off final, which would take Scotland to Norway or Serbia if they beat Israel, will be held on November 12.

“The national team football windows of October and November 2020 will now feature triple-headers instead of double-headers, thus allowing the postponed European Qualifiers Play-Offs to be rescheduled at the beginning of the respective windows, on 8 October and 12 November,” read a statement on UEFA’s website. “The revised dates were approved by the UEFA Executive Committee on 17 June.”

Meanwhile, Turkey will now face Italy in Rome’s StadioOlimpico in the opening match of the tournament, with Portugal beginning the defence of their title in Budapest four days later. All of England’s group games, including the semi-finals as well as the final of the tournament, which has been rescheduled for July 11, will still take place in Wembley.

“All existing tickets remain valid for the tournament in 2021, though buyers who wish to return their tickets will have a final opportunity to request a refund from 18 to 25 June, via euro2020.com/tickets. Dates for potential future ticket sales – including for fans of the four teams that qualify via the play-offs – will be confirmed at a later date,” read a statement on UEFA’s website.

The announcement also includes new schedule for the Champions league and Europa League. In March, a tough decision was made by the UEFA, as the most glorious 24-team European Championship was called-off and will resume after a year. Held every four years, Euro is considered the most popular football tournament next to the World Cup in terms of international prestige.