England has been handed an even more prominent role in hosting the 2020 European Championship after a further four matches were allocated to Wembley Stadium.
The decision means that Wembley will stage seven games in total – the final, both semi-finals, a last-16 match and three group games – resulting in the biggest festival of international football in the country since Euro 96.
It comes after Brussels was removed as a host city for the tournament, which will be staged across 12 different venues for the first time. The Belgian city had failed to meet deadlines on a stadium project.
Provided England qualify for the competition, which is being expanded from 16 teams to 24, they will play at least two of their group-stage fixtures at Wembley.
The decision was taken by governing body Uefa at a meeting in Switzerland on Thursday.
“We are delighted to help Uefa by hosting the additional four matches at Wembley Stadium,” said Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn.
“It’s an honour to be one of the 12 nations that will play a part in this prestigious ‘Euro for Europe’ tournament and I would like to thank the Uefa executive committee for giving us the opportunity to stage these games.”
Glenn, who has previously pledged that the FA will sink millions into upgrading the national stadium before the tournament, paid tribute to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan for his support.
Khan said: “It speaks volumes about our great city that London has been awarded an additional four Euro 2020 matches, reinforcing the capital’s reputation as the sporting capital of the world.
“It’s the perfect starting point for a tournament that will culminate in London proudly hosting the showpiece semi-finals and final.”
Wembley, which has hosted the Champions League final twice in the last seven years, was already set to stage the final and semi-finals of Euro 2020, which were assigned in 2014.
But the exclusion of Brussels means the 90,000-seater venue will also get group games and a match in the first knockout round.
The British Isles will host a total of 15 of the 51 matches at Euro 2020, with Hampden Park in Glasgow and Dublin’s Aviva Stadium each set to stage three group matches and a last-16 tie.
The boost to England’s credentials as a host of major tournament football comes after it emerged this week that chairman Greg Clarke has begun laying the groundwork for a potential bid for the 2030 World Cup.
FA chiefs were humiliated when they bid for the 2018 tournament, which was awarded to Russia in same controversial ballot that saw Qatar land the 2022 event.
The other host cities for Euro 2020 are: Baku, Copenhagen, Munich, Budapest, Rome, Amsterdam, Bucharest and Bilbao.
Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch said: “With matches being played across Europe, for the 60th anniversary of the competition, it will be a very special tournament and I know that we will give fans a warm welcome when they visit England's iconic national stadium.”