London will host seven games during Euro 2020 after UEFA handed the four fixtures scheduled for Brussels to Wembley on Thursday.
UEFA decided to reallocate the three group-stage games and one last-16 game originally given to the Belgian capital because of delays in the project to build a new 60,000-capacity Eurostadium on the site of Heysel.
Cardiff’s Principality Stadium and Stockholm’s Friends Arena – the venues for last season’s finals of the Champions League and Europa League, respectively – had hoped to pick up Brussels’ games.
However, UEFA opted for Wembley, which has already been chosen as the venue for the semi-finals and final.
Glasgow’s Hampden Park had been hoping to stage the tournament’s opening game but that honour has gone to Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
Staged across 12 countries, Euro 2020’s unusual format was former UEFA president Michel Platini’s brainchild – a one-off gesture to celebrate the tournament’s 60th birthday.
As well as deciding where the first game, on June 12, will be and what to do about Brussel’s difficulties, the executive committee also announced where each of the six groups’ games will be played.
Baku and Rome will host group A, group B’s games will take place in Copenhagen and St Petersburg, Amsterdam and Bucharest get group C, Glasgow and London will share group D, group E will be staged in Bilbao and Dublin, while group F’s fixtures will be in Budapest and Munich.
In a statement, the Football Association of Wales said it was “extremely disappointed” with the news its bid for four Euro 2020 games had been unsuccessful.
“Over the past four years, Wales has successfully staged three UEFA events – firstly, the Super Cup final in 2014, followed by the men’s and women’s Champions League finals in June this year,” it said.
“UEFA ranked the Champions League final as one of their best events and praised the way in which the Cardiff 2017 local organising committee delivered the showpiece.
“The concept of taking Euro 2020 to 13 different countries was devised to allow smaller countries, like Wales, to have a unique opportunity of being involved in staging a major tournament. Wales has never staged a Euro or World Cup final and this was its one and only chance of doing so.
“The FAW complied with all of the bid requirements and has written to UEFA to request feedback on the decision so that it can understand the reasons behind the vote for future reference.”
The statement concluded by wishing UEFA and Wembley all the best and saying it would now concentrate all its efforts on ensuring Wales qualify.
Source: By PA Sport Staff