‘A really good day for Irish sport’ - Dublin to host Euros draw
Dublin to host draw for qualifying stages of 2020 European Championships in December
FAI Chief Executive John Delaney says that Ireland 140 million people will be watching the 2020 European Championships draw live. Photograph: Sportsfile
Dublin is to host the draw for the qualifying stages of the 2020 European Championships in December of next year with the Irish capital having been chosen by Uefa ahead of a number of the other 12 cities that are scheduled to stage games during the tournament itself.
Around 1,000 people are expected to attend the draw which will be held at Dublin’s Convention Centre of December 2nd, 2018 with officials from Uefa itself, its 55 member associations, former players and media making up the bulk of the crowd.
While those numbers are not huge, the event typically attracts a large international broadcast audience and Dublin City Council and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport lent their support to the bid to host the draw on the basis that it provides a significant promotional opportunity for Dublin and Ireland as a whole.
The ceremony is typically interspersed with videos aimed at portraying a positive image of the cities where the tournament’s match stadiums are located and Dublin would be expected gain extra prominence in these broadcasts.
“It’s a really good day for Irish sport,” FAI chief executive John Delaney said in an interview with Newstalk this morning. “There’ll be 650 delegates, 350 media . . . that’s a thousand people in the convention centre and,” he claimed, “140 million people watching the draw live which is great for Dublin, great for Ireland and it’s great that we can showcase such a big event in Dublin and that the eyes of the world will be on us.”
Delaney said that the bid to stage the event had been successful in the face of what he described as “stiff competition” from some of the other 2020 host cities. Dublin’s chances are unlikely to have been harmed by his own recent election to the Executive Committee of Uefa, effectively the organisation’s board.
Dublin will host three group games and a quarter-final in the tournament itself with cities across the continent staging similar combinations of group and knock-out matches before the semi-finals and final are all played in London.
Some doubt has recently been thrown over the line up of cities with Uefa sounding out some of those that missed out in the original bidding process about reapplying as there is some uncertainty regarding Brussels’ ability to deliver its new stadium in time and it is possible that Cardiff may yet end up taking over the Belgian city’s portion of the tournament.