France and Russia have signalled that they want to follow up hosting UEFA Euro 2016 and the FIFA 2018 World Cup, respectively, by staging Euro 2020 matches.
Ahead of yesterday’s deadline for submissions of interest in hosting Euro 2020 games, France is widely reported to have put forward Lyon, which will be home to a new 58,000-seat stadium by 2016, while Russia confirmed that Saint Petersburg would be its candidate. The Russian federation said that Saint Petersburg would be put forward as a potential host city for a ‘standard package’ of games.
UEFA will award 12 standard packages, which include three group stage matches and one knockout round (round of 16 or quarter-finals), with the other package comprising both semi-finals and the final. The Russian federation said that “the chances of getting the final of Euro 2020 after the 2018 World Cup would be minimal”. Azerbaijan also added its name to the list of European nations bidding to host Euro 2020 matches, by putting forward Baku and the Olympic stadium currently under construction.
Russia and France have joined Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, England, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey in expressing an interest in staging Euro 2020 matches. European football’s governing body will formally verify applications on September 20 before making a decision over host cities in September 2014.