London’s Wembley to host Euro 2020 final and semifinals
UEFA has selected Wembley Stadium in London to host the semifinals and final of the first continent-wide European Championship in 2020, ending a run of bidding failures by England.
Wembley was selected ahead of Bayern Munich’s stadium in Friday’s vote by the UEFA executive committee.
England had failed in bids for the 2006 and 2018 World Cups.
England hosted the Euro ’96 tournament with the final at the old Wembley. The venue has been rebuilt since then into a 90,000-capacity stadium and staged two Champions League finals in the past three years.
The new format gave a chance for countries that wouldn’t necessarily have a chance to host the tournament on their own to stage some games.
Baku, Azerbaijan, was one of the cities awarded a quarterfinal match and three group stage games. The others were Munich, Rome’s Olympic Stadium and the new Zenit St. Petersburg venue in Russia,
Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Brussels and Glasgow also got three group stage games, plus a round of 16 match.
Germany withdrew Munich’s bid just before the vote leaving the field clear for London, UEFA has revealed, and Wembley’s selection for the final was made by acclamation.
Football Association chairman Greg Dyke said: "We are delighted – it’s nice to win one! Wembley is a great stadium and we are delighted to be holding the finals of this tournament.
"Wembley has been completely rebuilt since 1996 and is it a wonderful stadium."
Dyke also praised UEFA for the idea of hosting the tournament across 13 cities in Europe.
He added: "It struck me what a good idea this is – look at all these capital cities hosting."
Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan believes the backing of Sir Alex Ferguson and the success of the Commonwealth Games had been key in their successful bid.
Regan told Press Association Sport: "Everyone saw what Glasgow was capable of with the Commonwealth Games, and that really put Glasgow on the map. It was a huge factor and we used that in our film.
"Sir Alex Ferguson came in last week with a video in support of our bid and spoke passionately about it, and I am sure that must have helped.
"We knew we had a strong bid. We focused on the fact this is the 60th anniversary and we focused on the history and heritage of football. We knew Michel Platini was a football man and that’s what we played strongest on and that’s why we used Alex Ferguson.
"It was football that has won the day. This is a tournament about 60 years of European football, we have had some of the most famous matches in European football at Hampden Park and we played heavily on that in our video and in our submission."
Press Association copy has been used in this report