Euro 2020: Pros and Cons of Hosting Tournament in 10 Cities

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJanuary 25, 2013

DONETSK, UKRAINE - JUNE 15:  Lightning hits the stadium as play is suspended due to bad weather during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Ukraine and France at Donbass Arena on June 15, 2012 in Donetsk, Ukraine.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

The UEFA Executive Committee have accepted the French Football Federation's 10 proposed stadia for Euro 2016.

Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse are the cities that have been selected to host official games for the tournament, and France is bubbling with excitement after securing a major tournament for the first time since 2000.

Savour it while you can, because the 2020 edition of the European Championships will be very different indeed.

UEFA confirmed in December that it will be hosted in 10 different locations across the continent, leaving individual cities to scrap for the chance to host their own portion of the glory.

It's a surprising move from the committee that has sparked a furore of debate. France is approximately 600 miles wide and 600 miles high; the distance between Dublin and Rome is more than double that.



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 travelling 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.



From one side of the coin, we flip to 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 organising 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.



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?