MOSCOW, January 29. /TASS/. The infrastructure created for the 2018 FIFA world Cup contributes to the preparations for UEFA Euro 2020 matches, said Alexei Sorokin, a member of FIFA and head of the organizational committee for the Russian part of Euro 2020, in a conversation with TASS 500 days ahead of Euro’s launch.
Euro 2020 will run from June 12 to July 12, 2020. Euro’s final part, linked to the 60th anniversary of the tournament, will be held in 12 European cities. St. Petersburg will host three group matches and the quarterfinals. The stadium St. Petersburg hosted 2018 FIFA World Cup matches and 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup matches. In late 2018 it was renamed as Gazprom Arena.
"The heritage of the 2018 World Cup contributes as much as possible to the preparations for the Euro matches in St. Petersburg. More than 80% of the temporary infrastructure built for the World Cup will be used at the European championship as well. This is material heritage, whereas immaterial heritage is obvious. These are groups of experts who already passed through more difficult competitions both in terms of expert examinations and experience and are ready for a successful organization of Euro 2020," Sorokin said.
"However, St. Petersburg is not ready yet. The Union of European Football Associations has its own requirements, and it is too early to speak about the complete readiness of the city. Still, it can be said that its infrastructure is definitely ready. The remaining preparations will take some time," Sorokin added.
"The main activity of the organizational committee is preparing documents and developing certain concepts. For example, it is necessary to prepare changes to our legislation, the way we made it at the World Cup, so there is still a lot of work to do. No events were planned to mark 500 days ahead of the Euro championship in St. Petersburg, but I may assure you that they will be necessarily held 100 days before the tournament’s launch," Sorokin told TASS.
The unique format
The UEFA Euro 2020 matches will be held in St. Petersburg, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Munich, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rome, Bilbao, Dublin, London and Glasgow.
"All the members of the organizational committee are keeping in contact with each other and holding meetings. The last meeting was held in Dublin in the UEFA Executive Committee. We will hold the next meeting in the Executive Committee before the UEFA Congress in Rome," Sorokin said.
"Five hundred days ahead of the European championship I would like to wish the fans to use the unique format of the tournament, which will be applied once, and visit as many cities and matches as possible, as it is a chance to both see high-level football and learn the cultures of various countries. As a person who has experience in organizing tournaments, I may say that it is difficult in terms of organization and has challenges, as bringing together the legislations of isolated countries was set as a specific task," Sorokin concluded.