Euro 2020

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Wembley Stadium to host more games in Euro 2020

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An additional four games at the 2020 European Championships will take place in the North London suburb of Wembley.

With delays to the construction of a proposed stadium in the Belgian city of Brussels, UEFA has made the decision to move the group-stage matches that were originally set for Belgium to Wembley Stadium, as well as a Round-of-16 matchup. Wembley Stadium was already set to host the semifinals and finals of the tournament.

“Due to the Eurostadium project’s failure to meet the conditions imposed by the UEFA Executive Committee during its meeting of 20th September 2017, the four matches initially scheduled to be held in Brussels will now be allocated to Wembley Stadium, London following a vote by the committee,” UEFA wrote in a statement on their website.

The decision is a blow to the Wales FA and Swedish FA, which had lobbied UEFA to take Belgium’s place as a group-stage host nation.

The UEFA executive committee did make a number of other decisions, including deciding which groups for Euro 2020 would be located in which cities, as well as deciding that the Stadio Olympico in Rome, Italy will host the first match.

Here’s where the group-stage matches will be played.

Group A: Rome and Baku
Group B: Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen
Group C: Amsterdam and Bucharest
Group D: London and Glasgow
Group E: Bilbao and Dublin
Group F: Munich and Budapest

UEFA also had an interesting note, stating that each qualified host country will play a minimum of two matches at home in the group-stage.

That likely means that if England qualifies for Euro 2020, they’d be placed into Group D and would have at least two games in London. Same for Italy, Russia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, and the other host nations in the groups where their nation is hosting matches.

UEFA picks Dublin to host Euro 2020 qualifying draw

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NYON, Switzerland (AP) UEFA has picked Ireland to host the draw for 2020 European Championship qualifying groups.

UEFA says the 55-team draw will be held Dec. 2, 2018 in Dublin, which will stage four games at Euro 2020.

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The 10-group qualifying program in 2019 will decide 20 teams advancing to the final tournament that will be hosted in 13 cities across Europe.

The final four places are decided in a March 2020 playoff round that is fed from UEFA’s new Nations League competition.

Nations League groups are played from September to November next year and will also decide seeding for the Euro 2020 qualifying draw.

The four-tier Nations League replaces most friendlies in the international match calendar.

Italy coach Ventura signs new contract until 2020

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ROME (AP) Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura will remain in charge of the Azzurri until 2020 after signing a new contract.

Carlo Tavecchio, the president of the Italian football federation, announced the deal on Wednesday in a news conference with Ventura.

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The 69-year-old Ventura thanked the federation for “its trust” in him, adding: “There is the absolute conviction that we can achieve something important.”

Ventura took charge of Italy in July 2016, replacing Antonio Conte, who left to join Chelsea after steering the Azzurri to the quarterfinals of the European Championship.

Italy has not lost any of its World Cup qualifiers under Ventura and is level on points with Spain at the top of Group G. It plays Spain in Madrid on Sept. 2.

Brussels could potentially lose Euro 2020 slot over stadium doubts

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Belgian FIFA Council member Michel D’Hooghe expressed his sincere doubts about a new stadium at the crux of the winning Brussels bid for Euro 2020.

According to D’Hooghe, there are serious political hangups with the construction, even if Anderlecht decides to fill the stadium after the tournament. Anderlecht currently plays at Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, which also hosted the 1972 Euro semifinal between Hungary and Soviet Union. The club pulled out of its initial agreement to fill the new stadium back in February due to the political disputes.

“If they want to build it they have to start building very soon, and there I have severe doubts,” D’Hooghe said to the Associated Press during an anti-doping summit in Switzerland. “Even if Anderlecht would say `We go there,’ there remains the political problem.”

“The organizers (in Brussels) still hope that there will be a solution. It is not impossible. The problem is you cannot start building today.”

Euro 2020 is set to be a one-time cross-contential tournament. UEFA selected Brussels back in 2014 as one of 13 host cities. Cardiff is one city that was not chosen, but could fill in, the AP points out, as they host the Champions League final this coming summer at Millennium Stadium, built in 1999 for the Rugby World Cup. A number of French cities were also rejected due to the country hosting in 2016.

The proposed Brussels stadium would hold 60,000 fans and be built in Grimbergen, just north of Brussels. The current stadium at that site, King Baudouin Stadium, can hold 50,000, but lacks the modern facilities for hosting a tournament, including broadcast facilities and suites.

Logos for EURO 2020 tournament revealed

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The logo for the EURO 2020 tournament was released at City Hall in London on Wednesday.

For the first time UEFA’s flagship tournament will take place across 13 European cities four years from now in a format which is focusing on saving money and not putting the burden of hosting the event on one or two nations.

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The 13 host cities are Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Brussels, Budapest, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome, Saint Petersburg.

London’s Wembley Stadium will host the two semifinals and final in 2020 and therefore England’s capital was a fitting place for the new overall logo to be unveiled.

Below is the logo for the EURO 2020 tournament:

While the logo for London as a host city was also revealed on Wednesday, as the other 12 host cities will each see their logo unveiled one by one at individuals launches across Europe.

The theme running through the logos will be a famous bridge from each city to represent the link between the host cities. London’s chosen bridge for the logo is, of course, Tower Bridge.