European football’s governing body UEFA on Friday confirmed that the 2020 European championship will be staged in 13 different cities across the continent.

UEFA’s executive committee rubber-stamped the proposals, which were first made public last month, for the 2020 finals to be the first ‘Euro for Europe.’

Previous tournaments have been held in one country or, as was the case at Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, joint-hosted by two neighbouring countries.

Same venue

For 2020, UEFA has stipulated that there will be a maximum of one venue per country, and added that the two semifinals and the final will be held at the same stadium.

The remaining 12 winning bidders will each host three group matches as well as one knock-out tie from either the round-of-16 or the quarterfinals.

No nation will qualify automatically for the finals, but every host that qualifies will be guaranteed two home matches in the group phase.

No such guarantees would be given for the knock-out stages.

UEFA also said they will try to take travel distances into account when allocating hosting teams to groups, “for example, and if feasible, with flights not exceeding two hours’ duration between two host cities to allow easy access to travelling fans.”

Cities hoping to stage matches must put forward their bids by September this year, with the winning candidates named in September 2014.

Platini’s brainchild

UEFA president Michel Platini put forward the controversial plan in December, saying that it would be difficult for any one country to make the necessary financial commitment to stage a 24-team championship given the current economic climate. — AFP

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