Euro 2020 will be hosted by Europe. The whole continent.
Road trip, anyone? UEFA announced that the 2020 European Championship tournament will be held in a number of cities across the continent. This means that for the first time ever there will be no country “hosting” the tournament, per se. Euro 2020 will be spread across the whole of Europe, all ~4 million square miles of it.
Reportedly, the 13 possible host cities are Istanbul, London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Athens, Moscow, Kiev, Amsterdam, Brussels, Basel, Zagreb. Fans who want to travel with their team, get used to searching for cheap flights and trains. For casual fans who don’t mind paying an exhorbitant amount to watch a match and jaunter around a European capital for a few days, enjoy.
Our own Saf Hossain addressed this very idea back in July. In his words:
"The logic behind having a tournament in several major cities is that a city like Rome or Madrid will already have the necessary infrastructure in place. This removes the burden building several new stadiums and infrastructure projects off the shoulders of the host country – remember, Europe’s financial position is precarious at best. As in Russia, the largest country ever be awarded the FIFA World Cup, teams would be assigned to clusters of nearby cities (.e.g. Berlin and Prague). A tournament staged in this way could even allow for fans to see cities such as Budapest and Zagreb, which wouldn’t usually get a sniff for hosting duties.
But what about the fans – will it still be possible to follow their team all across Europe? You can almost feel the gallic shrug as Mr Platini simply says, “there are budget airlines”, as if he’s telling you and I to ‘deal with it’.”
Is this a disgrace to football and another example that the men who run football care about money more than anything else? Or are you intrigued by the idea and welcome the change in the tournament’s structure? While we look into book an old VW Eurovan, let us know your thoughts.