UEFA has approved for the Euro 2020 to take place in 13 cities across Europe
• The matches will be split into 13 different packages, with 12 ordinary packages including three group matches and one knockout round (round of 16 or quarter-final), and one package for the semi-finals and the final
• There will only be a maximum of one venue per country
, meaning one stadium for each of the available 13 packages. Both semi-finals and the final will be played in one stadium
• Each association will be allowed to present up to two bids, one for the ordinary package and one for the semi-finals/final package. Each national association can decide to present the same city for these two bids or two different cities.
Projected stadiums will be admitted in the bidding process, with a deadline set in 2016 for the construction of any new stadium to start, failing which the decision on such a host city could be reviewed.
The required minimum net stadiums capacities should be:
• 70,000 for semi-finals/final;
• 60,000 for quarter-finals;
• 50,000 for round of 16 and group matches; and
• Up to two exceptions would be allowed for stadiums of a net minimum capacity of 30,000 seats, limited to group matches and a round of 16 match.
All teams will participate in the qualifying competition and the 13 countries staging matches will therefore not be automatically qualified.
A maximum of two host teams would be drawn into each of the six final tournament groups, with each qualified host being guaranteed two home matches in the group phase. There would not be any such guarantee for the knockout stages.
For the group stage, the group composition would remain subject to seeding and to a draw. However, the allocation of hosting teams to the groups would also take travel distances into account (for example, and if feasible, with flights not exceeding two hours' duration between host cities to allow easy access to traveling fans).
The participating teams will be free to choose where to set up their base camp, without the obligation to stay in one of the host countries.
The timeline for the bidding process has been approved by the UEFA Executive Committee:
• 28 March 2013: Approval of the bidding requirements and bid regulations
• April 2013: Publication of the bid requirements and launch of the bidding phase
• September 2013: Formal confirmation of their bid by the candidates
• April/May 2014: Submission of bid dossiers and start of the evaluation phase
• September 2014: Appointment of the host cities by the UEFA Executive Committee
It's a surprising move from UEFA that has sparked furious debates. The furthest away stadiums for the Euro 2016 in France are Lille and Toulouse, which are ~900km apart. The distance between realistic candidates Moscow and Lisbon for the Euro 2020 is almost 4000km. And thats air line. Imagine traveling that by car or even train.Cons
From some people's perspective, the split nature of the tournament is an impending disaster.
Legitimate questions are thrown forward with regard to travel distances. With the tournament usually taking place in relative proximity, how can potential trips from Lisbon to Munich or Brussels to Barcelona be considered a good thing?
The players receive limited training time and clock up thousands of air miles to combat on the field. Many believe the further into the tournament teams go, the more zombie-like they'll become, creating a final between two exhausted sets of players.
Some traveling fans consider the European Championships as a holiday. They save up, travel and don't just go for one game, but for three, four even five in a two-week period. It's a wonderful way to soak up a major tournament while combining it with a family occasion, but has that opportunity gone now?
Can fans afford to travel the length and width of Europe, and will the desire to do so be present? Will it really feel like a proper tournament?
Finally, the "home nation spirit" will be thoroughly absent. When a minnow is picked to host the competition the host fans get right behind their country and create a spectacular atmosphere in which many overachieve.
Portugal's 2004 team could never have won the competition anywhere else considering the raw nature of Cristiano Ronaldo and co. Only the unlikely tale of Greece stopped Luiz Felipe Scolari pulling off a masterstroke.Pros
From one side of the coin, we flip to the other. There are plenty of people excited to see how the new format shapes up and believe countries will prosper from the opportunity.
Tourism across Europe will absolutely explode during the scheduled month and some smaller countries could make big pay-days if one of their prime stadia lands a slot on the roster. This could also benefit UEFA, as they'll likely pick the 10 biggest and collect optimum ticket sales and attendances.
Compare this layout to the 1994 FIFA World Cup hosted in the U.S., or any season in the NFL. There are a couple of mentions of travel time—for example when the New England Patriots play Sunday night in Foxborough, then Thursday night at Candlestick Park—but nothing major crops up, nothing falls apart at the seams.
So long as UEFA are sensible in organizing where groups of teams play, what landmark disaster could occur?
You create a level playing field across most nations to increase home advantage and therefore competitiveness, meaning less fairy tale stories but better quality football.Conclusion
It's a big move from UEFA that has scope to go one of two distinct ways.
The recent list of French stadiums accepted for use in 2016 edition could be the last time the doctrine contains venues in just one country—are you a football romantic or are you itching for change?