UEFA has announced the 19 candidate cities and member associations still in the running to host Euro 2020 matches, with Wembley among those pursuing their place in the continental competition.
Per its official website, UEFA states that 19 bids were submitted by the April 25 deadline, listed below:
|Republic of Macedonia||Skopje|
|Republic of Ireland||Dublin|
This number is reduced from the original 32 associations who expressed an interest during the first phase of applications, which ended on September 12, 2013, after which further minimum requirements were outlined to those parties.
UEFA announced in January 2013 that 13 European cities would be used as host cities for the competition in what will be a drastic change in tournament format.
Jonathan Wilson sees the positive side of this new formula, hinting that the old system may have been shown as flawed back at Euro 2012:
I realise I'm probably in a minority, but after the logistical shambles of Euro 2012, I think plans for 2020 actually quite exciting.— Jonathan Wilson (@jonawils) April 26, 2014
Each city and association pairing had the choice of applying for a standard package—comprising of three group matches and a round of 16/quarter-final fixture—and/or another package for the semi-finals and finals. England and Germany were the only countries to submit bids for both packages.
UEFA president Michel Platini is quoted as saying:
We are extremely happy to have received so many bids to host UEFA EURO 2020. The 60th year anniversary edition of the tournament will be an historic one, with matches played in many European countries.
By spreading the EURO 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.
England and Germany will therefore collide once more in the race to host one of world football's most respected fixtures, and of which they can both be hopeful of playing some role in on the pitch as well as off of it.
The Press Association's Martyn Ziegler was quick to note the context of this particular head-to-head:
England v Germany in the bids for the Euro 2020 final. Let's hope it doesn't go to penalties.— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) April 26, 2014
There will be an announcement on September 19, 2014 to reveal which 13 of the 19 associations have been successful in their bid.