MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) will maintain a special focus on the Russian city of St. Petersburg in its preparations for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup, Alexei Sorokin, the head of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2020, said on Thursday.
"We have an unblemished image in terms of the flawless organization of international tournaments on the territory of our country and this is why we are faced with high-level requirements," Sorokin said.
"We have been compared with Brazil [2014 FIFA World Cup hosts] as we were in preparations for the organization of the [FIFA 2018] World Cup and it was a bit easier for us," he said.
"But we will be now compared with our [2020 Euro Cup] partner cities, which include Rome, London, Amsterdam, Munich," Sorokin said. "Special requirements will be on the table for St. Petersburg as a famed city highly attractive for tourists."
The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup will be held at stadiums in cities of 12 different European countries, namely in London (England), Munich (Germany), Rome (Italy), Baku (Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Russia), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (The Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Glasgow (Scotland) and Copenhagen (Denmark).
Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg was granted the right to host three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup.
The newly-built football arena in St. Petersburg hosted the opening and final matches of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and also served as one of 12 stadiums across the country hosting matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
The over 68,000-seat capacity stadium designed to host the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup matches was laid down in the western portion of Krestovsky Island in St. Petersburg in 2007 and commissioned in early 2017.
The decision to hold the 2020 Euro Cup, which will be celebrating its 60th anniversary that year, in various European countries instead of in one or two hosting countries was made at the UEFA Executive Committee’s meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, on December 6, 2012.
A total of 24 national football teams will be playing in the final tournament of the 2020 Euro Cup. All 55 UEFA national member teams, including 12 teams from the hosting countries, will have to play in the qualifying matches to vie for the berth in the final 24-team lineup of the quadrennial European football championship.
It is possible that some of the national teams from the hosting countries of the 2020 Euro Cup will not be playing on home soil in case they fail to clear the qualifying stage.