Brussels loses hosting right of four Euro 2020 matches, London's Wembley Stadium named as replacement

Brussels was one of 13 venues picked to host this unique edition of the European Championship — to celebrate the 60th anniversary of UEFA — held across the continent rather than in a single host country.

AFP December 07, 2017 22:35:10 IST
Brussels loses hosting right of four Euro 2020 matches, London's Wembley Stadium named as replacement

Nyon: Wembley Stadium in London will host four Euro 2020 matches originally set to be staged in Brussels, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said on Thursday.

The European football governing body's executive committee decided "unanimously" to strip Brussels of its four matches due to the inability of Belgian organisers to guarantee the new stadium to the north of the capital where they would have been held could be built in time.

Brussels loses hosting right of four Euro 2020 matches Londons Wembley Stadium named as replacement

Representational image. Reuters

Wembley will now host seven matches in total, having already been allocated the two semi-finals and the final on 12 July, 2020.

UEFA also announced the opening game on 12 June, 2018, would be held at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

"Due to the Eurostadium project's failure to meet the conditions imposed by the UEFA Executive Committee during its meeting of 20 September 2017, the four matches (three group, one round of 16) initially scheduled to be held in Brussels will now be allocated to London's Wembley Stadium following a vote by the committee," said Ceferin.

"We discussed with Brussels for quite a long time, they were not able to provide us with all the documentation."

"Until today we don't know if they can build a stadium or not."

"They still don't have the documents. They had time until today's executive committee (meeting) and they didn't do it."

"We received a letter yesterday that 31st of January there will be a final decision but the decision — yes or no — they don't know."

"Experts from administration had the opinion it was a high risk for UEFA if we wait."

The company contracted to build the stadium in the northern suburb of Grimbergen, BTP Ghelamco, said they were able to build the 60,000-capacity Eurostadium in 18 months, but the Flanders region in which it will be situated has yet to issue a building permit.

Brussels was one of 13 venues picked to host this unique edition of the European Championship — to celebrate the 60th anniversary of UEFA — held across the continent rather than in a single host country.

A draw was also held to decide which cities would host games from the various groups.

Rome and Baku will host Group A, Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen Group B, Amsterdam and Bucharest Group C, London and Glasgow Group D, Bilbao and Dublin Group E, with Munich and Budapest the Group F venues.

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