THE 2020 European Championships will be spread out over numerous cities across the continent for the first time, governing body Uefa has confirmed.
The tournament, which will have expanded to 24 teams by then, will be the 60th anniversary of the first European Championship, a landmark Uefa president Michel Platini is keen to celebrate.
“Euro 2020 will be staged across the continent, in various major cities, following a decision taken today,” said Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino.
“A Euro for Europe follows an initial idea by Uefa president Michel Platini, who described it as ‘an idea I feel really passionate about’. The response has been extremely positive from all the national associations."
However, Turkey, who initially bid to host Euro 2020 and missed out on hosting 2016, opposed the decision.
The format of the tournament and number of host cities will be decided by Uefa’s national teams committee with the bidding process to start in March 2013. Under Platini’s plans the semi-finals and final will be held in a separate city to those hosting the group stages or knockout rounds. The Football Association has already put forward Wembley to Uefa to stage the final.
Platini introduced his “Euro for Europe” idea on the eve of Euro 2012 and believes the shared tournament could ease the financial burden of hosting a major event.
“It will be a lot easier from a financial perspective for all the countries,” said Platini in June. “If you need to build airports or 10 stadiums in a country, this would be rather easy because it would be one stadium per host city.”
Meanwhile Uefa has voted to ban third-party ownership of players and will request world football’s governing body Fifa outlaws the practice. However if Fifa refuse to do so then Uefa has confirmed it will impose its own regulations prohibiting third-party ownership of players as a matter of principle.