UEFA announces that Euro 2020 will be held in 13 cities across the continent and the two semi-finals and final will all be played in the same stadium.
NYON, SWITZERLAND (JANUARY 25, 2013)(REUTERS) - Euro 2020 will be held in 13 cities across the continent and the two semi-finals and final will all be played in the same stadium, UEFA said on Friday (January 25) as it announced the first concrete plans for the tournament.
UEFA secretary general Gianni Infantino said that no more than one venue per country would be permitted for the 24-team tournament and venues would be chosen in September next year.
"The matches of the Euro will be split into 13 packages basicaly," Infantino told a news conference in Nyon.
UEFA voted in December to stage the tournament in cities across the continent rather than one or two host countries, in a radical departure from the traditional format for major tournaments.
European soccer's governing body said the move would allow smaller countries a slice of the action as they would not be able to stage the unwieldy 24-team tournament on their own.
Twelve cities will be awarded a package of three group games plus one knockout-stage game, with the 13th receiving a "special package" consisting of the two semi-finals and final.
UEFA said that its associations could present up to two bids each, one for the knockout package matches and one for the final plus semi-finals.
"12 cities who would include three group stage matches and one knock out round, a eight-final or quarter-final and one city which would host the semi-finals and the finals."
"There will be only one venue per country it means one stadium for each of the available 13 packages can be propsed by the members associations. This means also that both semi-finals and the final will be played in the same stadium."
The required stadium capacities would be 70,000 for the semi-finals and final, 60,000 for the quarter-finals and 50,000 for the group stage and round of 16 matches, although two exceptions would be made where 30,000 capacity stadiums would be permitted.
"From the moment that the committe realised that there were two cities that were interested with stadiums of less than 30,000 spectators, that would raise the number of cities who are interested in hosting the Euro, and that will mean a lot more work for UEFA, but I can't tell you how many cities there are with stadiums of 30,000, I don't know, but there are a whole bunch of them," said UEFA president Michel Platini.
"There are more than those with 50,000, so we chose a limit of 50,000 apart from two which have 30,000."
Candidate countries would have to submit their bids by September, UEFA said.
The 24 teams will be divided into six groups of four and a maximum of two host teams will be drawn into each group. Each qualified host would be guaranteed two home games in the group stage, but could not be guaranteed home games in the knockout stages.
Euro 2020 marks the competition's 60th anniversary.