Dublin among 19 applicants to host Euro 2020 games
London and Munich the only two cities to apply for semi-finals and finals package
The FAI hope Dublin’s Aviva Stadium will host four games in Euro 2020. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES
Ireland will likely face stiff competition from Wales and Scotland in its bid to host Euro 2020 games.
The FAI, supported by the government, yesterday formally applied to host four games in the competition, bidding for one of 12 ‘standard packages’ along with 19 other associations.
London and Munich were the only two cities on that list to bid for the ‘semi-finals and final package’, as well. It is generally accepted that whichever one fails in that bid will be chosen as a ‘standard package’ venue. It, therefore, may be preferrable, from an Irish, Scottish and Welsh perspective, for London to be selected as the finals destination.
Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium, with a capacity of 74,500, will also provide strong opposition for Dublin’s Aviva Stadium (51,000).
Dublin’s two airport terminals are expected to count in Ireland’s favour.
“We are extremely happy to have received so many bids to host Euro 2020,” said the Uefa president Michel Platini. “The 60th year anniversary edition of the tournament will be an historic one, with matches played in many European countries.
“By spreading (Euro 2020)across our continent, we will allow more fans from more nations to share in the excitement of hosting such a magical event. Member associations will also benefit greatly from this format, since more of them will be exposed to an elite tournament and have the opportunity to increase the development of football in their respective countries. I wish all the candidates the best of luck in this bidding process.”
The 12 standard packages entail hosting three group matches and one knockout round game in either the last 16 or quarter-finals.
The full list of contenders is: Azerbaijan/Baku, Belarus/Minsk, Belgium/Brussels, Bulgaria/Sofia, Denmark/Copenhagen, England/London, FYROM/Skopje, Germany/Munich, Hungary/Budapest, Israel/Jerusalem, Italy/Rome, Holland/Amsterdam, Republic of Ireland/Dublin, Romania/Bucharest, Russia/Saint Petersburg, Scotland/Glasgow, Spain/Bilbao, Sweden/Stockholm, Wales/Cardiff.