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What about the opening ceremony? Would that just take place in the city that hosts the first match, and would they still have a theme to them like they do currently where they normally try and showcase the host country?

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Seems like another example of an event setting hosting standards that could leave them with very few viable hosts. I think, as with the Olympics (especially Winter) and Commonwealth Games they need to

Turkey withdrew. They will concentrate on EURO 2024 bid. IMO that is a wise desicion after being robbed in 2016 and later deceived in 2020. Turkey deserves the whole EURO tournament not a part of it.

I agree with Blatter too, but I think he's only trying to make FIFA and himself look better by pooh-hooing UEFA. Who is he to talk? As if Qatar is such a brilliant idea!

Euro 2020 format whets appetite of major sponsors

Dec 7 (Reuters) - European soccer sponsors Adidas and Carlsberg have applauded UEFA's decision to spread Euro 2020 across the continent and the format is likely to appeal to other major international brands.

The change from having one or two host nations risked reducing the buzz that distinguishes events such as World Cups and Olympics, but soccer's commercial appeal was strong enough to withstand that, industry experts said.

"We see a lot of potential in UEFA's plans for Euro 2020," Adidas said in a statement.

"For us, this will mean some additional complexity as we'll be activating our brand across several European cities, not just in one country," it added.

"On the other hand, being in many different locations means being able to showcase our brand across the continent."

The German company was a sponsor of Euro 2012 played in Ukraine and Poland this year, and has already signed up for the 2016 tournament in France.

Danish brewer Carlsberg, which has sponsored the tournament since 1988, was also positive.

"We are aware of these plans for the 2020 Championship and think they look interesting," the company said.

Broadcasters are also believed to be reasonably comfortable with the arrangement, although the host cities will not be finalised until early 2014.

The decision has won broad backing from leading figures in European soccer.


Europe is battling with a financial crisis and few countries were prepared to take on the expense of hosting what will be a 24-team finals from 2016.

Turkey had said it wanted to host the tournament but Istanbul is in the running to host the 2020 Olympics and it would have been impossible to stage both events in the same country in the same year.

The competition began in 1960, when four teams played in the finals, doubled in size in 1980 and again in 1996.

Revenues have grown from 41 million euros in 1992 to an estimated 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) this year.

Media rights accounted for 62 percent of that total, with sponsorship, licensing and merchandising contributing 22 percent and the rest coming from ticket sales and corporate hospitality.

Karen Earl, chairman of the European Sponsorship Association, said the beauty of the new format for sponsors was that they would reach more of their major markets.

"Getting your message across the whole of Europe is more attractive, it's more effective," she said, noting that sponsors would probably have to have bigger budgets to launch advertising campaigns across multiple markets.

Some marketing experts warned that the change, which UEFA has said is a one-off, risked spoiling the atmosphere.

"One of the key dynamics of a World Cup or Olympics is the way that a nation comes alive," said Michael Payne, former marketing chief with the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

"Spreading it across Europe, you are going to be challenged to turn the whole of Europe on."


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If, and given this is UEFA we are dealing with it's a big if, this is a one-off for the diamond anniversary of the tournament, I don't have a major problem with it, particularly if it is primarily a vehicle for smaller nations with big individual venues, such as Wales for example, to have some part in the tournament. I fear it won't be, though.

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If you look at UEFA Cat 4 stadiums, very few are outside the main European countries.

Any of the smaller countries with the exception of Wales and Scotland would have to build or redevelop a stadium to host. Romania and Greece are the only countries to not previously host that have a stadium up to par.

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If you look at UEFA Cat 4 stadiums, very few are outside the main European countries.

Any of the smaller countries with the exception of Wales and Scotland would have to build or redevelop a stadium to host. Romania and Greece are the only countries to not previously host that have a stadium up to par.

And lets face it, do we really want today's Greece to host Euro games?
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Its 2012, the process needs to end by the end of 2013.

There are a few countries that should host because of their footballing history. Croatia, Hungary and Romania. I don't think many would be too upset if Ukraine, Poland and France were precluded as the most recent previous hosts.

And despite Greece's troubles, as a former champion, Athens really should host. They can host Champions League games, this wouldn't be much different.

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We have countries A through X

We have groups A through F

And venues A through L with M hosting the Final

Let’s hypothetically say that London is the host of the Final, which would preclude England from playing home matches.

So you have the seeded draw, which will have a double seeding. A ranked seeding for all qualifiers, with precedent for the 12 venues, to have home team games.

England or whomever is the host of the final would be severely disadvantaged by this, as they would face a potential group with two top teams like France and Spain.

This is sounding like a bad idea.

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I also think it's unfeasible to let the teams play at their home stadia for the group stage. And that might be the weak point of that EURO 2020 concept: That it will lack atmosphere, not only because it's stretched out over the whole continent but also because the teams might constantly have to play far away from their homes.

Nevertheless, I think it's an interesting concept and absolutely acceptable for a one-off occasion. It reminds quite a bit of the EURO modus from 1960 to 1976: There, the teams played home and away matches throughout the continent right until the quarterfinals while the semifinals and the final took place in one specific country, as a "mini tournament". So the concept doesn't only make sense economically, but also historically, as a reference to how the EURO was staged 60 years earlier.

I prefer France and Russia to be excluded from hosting, though - due to their roles as EURO and World Cup hosts in 2016 and 2018. Ukraine and Poland are okay, since it will be already eight years after their hosting and it would make sense to use those expensive new stadia for a big tournament yet again.

I don't know why so far, Berlin is the only German city considered as host city officially by the German Football Association. Yes, the Olympiastadion is the biggest stadium in the country, but it is an athletics stadium and Dortmund or Munich would provide a much better background for the matches, with their strong football traditions and also the football- and fan-friendly architecture of their stadia. As a North-Rhine-Westphalian, I would of course prefer Dortmund. It would also fit UEFA's intention to not only give EURO matches to the major cities.

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All options open for Euro 2020 – UEFA’s Platini

NYON, Switzerland: UEFA president Michel Platini on Friday said that he was open to all options for the European championships in 2020, a day after the ruling body said that the tournament would be held across the continent.

“It’s a blank page at the moment,” said the former France captain. “I can’t tell you where we’re going to go. We haven’t yet gone into the details. It’s a one-off decision.”

Platini first mooted the idea of holding the 60th anniversary of European football’s premier competition in a number of countries before the final of this year’s edition in Poland and Ukraine, which was won by defending champions Spain.

On Thursday, UEFA’s executive committee was virtually unanimous in supporting the idea, which Platini said had been circulating for a number of years and had been the subject of numerous meetings and discussions with national associations.

Many fans suggested that the decision, opposed only by Turkey which had previously submitted a bid to host the tournament in eight years’ time, would lead to increased costs and could destroy the atmosphere of the competition.

But Platini, who has argued that a Europe-wide competition would relieve pressures on one or two host nations given the current parlous financial climate in many countries, said more work was required to thrash out the detail.

“There are political decisions and geographic decisions,” he told reporters in Nyon, Switzerland, where UEFA is based.

“It’s not a case of a fan watching his team in Cardiff (Britain) then in Astana (Kazakhstan) and then in Sweden.

“Nothing is decided at the moment. I put forward the idea, the associations voted. I propose things and the executive committee decides.”

UEFA secretary-general Gianni Infantino said that the project would be re-examined in January or March next year and that host cities would be chosen in early 2014.

“We’re looking at something bigger and more united,” Platini said. “Countries that would never have had the chance to host the Euros will be able to participate in this festival of football.

“The situation is difficult in Europe. It’s hard to ask one country to invest in 10 stadiums like in Ukraine. There’s also the idea of belonging to a European country. It’s a great idea to mark the anniversary.

“The Euros will go to the fans. It’ll meet supporters. In previous years, they had to go to the Euros. Everything will be done so that the fans are able to get to games.”

Asked about the personal misgivings expressed by FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, who said last week that a Europe-wide Euro would “kill the spirit of the competition”, Platini said not everyone at the world governing body had doubts.

“I’ve received congratulations from the president of FIFA (Sepp Blatter), who said it was an great idea,” said Platini.

England’s Football Association (FA), meanwhile, registered their interest early in staging the semi-finals and finals at London’s Wembley stadium, while the Scottish FA also said they would be keen to participate.

“Clearly Wembley is incredibly highly thought of by UEFA and it is something we will push for,” said FA chairman David Bernstein.

“UEFA want to hold the semi-finals and the final on the same ground, or in the same city and I think we would be on their shortlist – but there would be some strong competition.

“The public want it and we’d want it and it would be wonderful to have it here.”

The host cities bidding process will begin in March, with decisions on venues set to be made in early 2014.

The next European championships in 2016 are to be held in France, with an increase in the number of teams from the current 16 to 24. – AFP


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Euro 2020 will be regionally focused, says Zwanziger The 67-year-old insists supporters have not been forgotten about amid fears the continent-wide tournament will be spread across distances that will make travel expensive

Uefa executive committee member Theo Zwanziger says he expects Euro 2020 to be based in specific regions of Europe ahead of the disclosure of the first details of the competition.

The 67-year-old's comments come on the back of Uefa's decision to base the tournament throughout the whole of Europe and not solely in a host country, with many supporters concerned about the distance required to travel to each game.

"I think there will be a regional focus," Zwanziger told Sport Bild.

"That could be northern or southern Europe. One has to think about the fans aswell."

Zwanziger is also under the impression the competition will not stretch as widely across the continent as first feared, disregarding the possibility that matches could occur in both Lisbon and Moscow, due to logistical problems.

Due to Germany's central position in Europe, Zwanziger is hoping his nation has a very good chance of playing a key part in the next European Championship.

"We're in the middle of Europe that's an advantage."


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It will be very interesting to see if Turkey manages to lose both the Euro and the Olympics in the year when they stood the best chance of landing them.

It's possible with Tokyo, and I don't even count Madrid out of the race anymore.

I don't see why UEFA had to decide on the 100 countries hosting Euro 2020 so early. They never pick the host until 5-6 years before the tournament, so why so early this time? And especially with the option they've chosen, the cities don't even need 5 years to prepare.

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Munich launches bid to host Euro 2020 matches

BERLIN (Reuters) – Bavaria, its capital Munich and Bayern Munich launched a joint bid on Thursday to host Euro 2020 soccer matches at the club’s Allianz Arena.

“We have shown by hosting the 2012 Champions League final that we are in a position to be good and nice host,” Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge told reporters in a news conference with Munich mayor Christian Ude and Bayern premier Horst Seehofer.

“The stadium is known around Europe,” he said of the Allianz Arena, completed before the 2006 World Cup held in Germany.

Euro 2020 will be held in 13 cities across the continent and the semi-finals and final will be played in the same stadium, European soccer’s governing body UEFA said last month.

“That would be the absolute highlight,” said Rummenigge about the possibility of staging the final three matches of the competition.

“I am confident Munich will get the nod,” Rummenigge said. One city per country will be picked for the matches, with the capital Berlin also considered a possible candidate for games during Euro 2020.

Bayern said they would submit the candidacy with UEFA through the German football association with a decision expected by September 2014.

“Bayern Munich have shown in numerous cases that they are tolerant hosts,” said Seehofer. “That is our biggest asset.”

Munich has hosted several other major events in the past including the 1972 Summer Olympics, matches -including the final – for the 1974 soccer World Cup and the 2006 World Cup.

The Bavarian capital also unsuccessfully bid for the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Bayern Munich lost to Chelsea in last year’s Champions League final in the city.


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As much as I would love to see Dortmund chosen as EURO 2020 venue (the Ruhr region is the heart of football passion in Germany, plus Dortmund's stadium is called the German national team's "living room"), I'm more and more convinced that there will be no alternative to choosing Berlin as the German venue. Choosing a different German city would be pretty much 1980s (like for EURO 1988, when Berlin wasn't chosen as venue due to political reasons - and when Munich staged the final).

That said, I can also hardly imagine the other EURO 2020 host countries choosing a different city than their capital as bid city (maybe only with the exception of countries like Switzerland, where the biggest stadium isn't located in the nation's capital).

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Bidding process timeline:

The timeline for the bidding process has been approved by UEFA's Executive Committee:

• 28 March 2013: Approval of the bidding requirements and bid regulations
• April 2013: Publication of the bid requirements and launch of the bidding phase
• September 2013: Formal confirmation of their bid by the candidates
• April/May 2014: Submission of bid dossiers and start of the evaluation phase
September 2014: Appointment of the host cities by the UEFA Executive Committee


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Istanbul bid chief says Euro 2020 not on Turkish agenda

LONDON (Reuters) – Istanbul Olympic bid organisers said the country’s sole aim was to win the right to host the 2020 Games despite being earmarked as one of the potential hosts for soccer’s European Championship being held the same year.

UEFA decided in January that the tournament would break from tradition and be spread over 13 nations with president Michel Platini saying he wanted the final and semi-finals to be played in Turkey.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) rules would prevent Turkey hosting any other major sporting event in 2020 should it win hosting rights, and the chairman of Istanbul’s bid on Tuesday said the IOC’s evaluation committee would be assured next month that government support is behind the Olympics.

“Istanbul is very clear,” Hasan Arat told reporters in a London hotel. “It’s for the 2020 Olympic bid.

“The government made the decision. There is no official interest and these comments come from UEFA.

“Istanbul is very clear on the rules and (a bid for Euro 2020) would go contrary to an Olympic bid.

“I think it’s very clear we are just for the Olympic Games. There is no other agenda, this is our number one agenda and that’s what we will tell the evaluation committee.”

Turkey had initially been favoured to host Euro 2020 alone, which would have seriously undermined its case for hosting the Olympics, but UEFA’s decision to make it a Europe-wide tournament was a major boost for the Games bid.

Madrid and Tokyo are the other candidate cities bidding to host the 2020 Olympics.


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