UEFA makes changes to Euro 2020 format
By Adriano Mancini
The 2020 European championships will for the first time in the competition’s history be staged not in just one country, but several, the organization governing body announced Thursday.
“UEFA Euro 2020 will be staged across the continent, in various major cities, following a decision taken today,” said UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino during a press conference in Lausanne, Switzerland, reported by the Telegraph newspaper in London.
“A Euro for Europe follows an initial idea by UEFA president Michel Platini,” said the newspaper.
The UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament will be staged across the continent after a UEFA Executive Committee decision – http://t.co/zNpdNSQm
— UEFA.com (@UEFAcom) December 6, 2012
“The choice of exactly how many cities and countries will host the 24-team, 51-match tournament is scheduled for the spring of 2014,” CBC.ca reported on Thursday.
It has been well documented that Turkey was strongly interested in hosting the tournament as well as a joint bid from Azerbaijan and Georgia and a joint bid from the Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
“The only thing that is decided is that the concept is changing. This leaves the door open to all countries,” Infantino said in the CBC.ca report
According to John Pereira, recreation and leisure student at Humber College and an avid soccer fan, hosting the European championships in multiple countries is good for the economy.
“In the past to many stadiums have been built that eventually have no real use once the tournament is finished, this new idea is better for the economy” Pereira told Humber News.
Thomas Michalakos, soccer columnist for Sportsnet.ca said the competition level will be more balanced due to the feeling of home field advantage no longer being in play.
“The home advantage will be null and void, and an extra spot opens up for nations to strive to obtain, since the regular host allocation would not be given,” said Michalakos.
First they decided to expand Euro to 24 teams. Now they're going to stage it all across the continent. The mind boggles over this stupidity.
— John Molinaro (@JohnMolinaro) December 6, 2012
It's disgraceful that a continental championship will be played in several time zones at stadiums vast distances from each other. #goldcup
— Ben 'Alleged Explosion' Massey (@Lord_Bob) December 6, 2012
UEFA hosting Euros all across one continent is still more sane than hosting a World Cup in Qatar.
— Ed Malyon (@eaamalyon) December 6, 2012
A decision on which specific host countries will play host the tournament are not expected to be announced in the spring of 2014.
The 2020 European championships will be the 60th anniversary of the competition since its inception.