Istanbul, Budapest, Belgrade Among Applicants To Host 13-City Euro 2020 Tournament
As the deadline for candidates to "inform UEFA of their candidacy to host matches of the 2020 European Championships beckons, Istanbul, Budapest and Belgrade have officially thrown their hats into the ring," according to Mark Baber of INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL. Euro 2020 will be co-hosted by "13 venues in 13 countries." Initial applications are "due to be delivered" by Thursday, with "detailed bids to be delivered to UEFA" in April (INSIDE WORLD FOOTBALL, 9/11). REUTERS' Philip Blenkinsop reported the Belgian FA will propose Brussels as a venue for Euro 2020 (REUTERS, 9/11).
WEMBLEY OUT: The PA's Martyn Ziegler reported England is "expected to drop plans" to bid for the Euro 2020 final and semifinal at Wembley after confirmation that Istanbul "wants to host the climax of the tournament." The FA will, however, "proceed with a bid" to stage group games and a quarterfinal. UEFA President Michel Platini has previously said that "he would back Turkey for Euro 2020 if Istanbul's Olympic bid was unsuccessful" (PA, 9/11).
AMSTERDAM INTERESTED: XINHUA reported the Dutch FA (KNVB) has "officially expressed its interest to propose Amsterdam as one of the host cities" for Euro 2020. The "municipality of Amsterdam," Ajax stadium, the Amsterdam ArenA and the KNVB will now "further discuss the possibilities of a definite bid" (XINHUA, 9/11).
ESPANYOL APPLYING: EL PERIODICO reported La Liga side Espanyol will present its Cornellá-El Prat stadium as a candidate for a host site for Euro 2020. Espanyol "submitted the request" through the Spanish Football Federation. The stadium's capacity means it will "only be able to host games in the group phase because the later stages of the tournament require larger stadiums." UEFA will decide on the host sites in Sept. '14. Espanyol's stadium "was the most modern in Spain" until Athletic Bilbao's new San Mamés stadium was built (EL PERIODICO, 9/10).