MOSCOW, May 30. /TASS/. Russia’s program of volunteers, who will be assisting with the organization of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup matches in the country’s second largest city next year, will be opened on June 6 within the 2019 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF), according to a statement obtained by TASS on Thursday.
The solemn ceremony to launch the volunteers’ program for the major European football championship will be attended by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets, who oversees matters devoted to culture and sport in the Russian government, Alexei Sorokin, the head of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Russia-2020, and Igor Maximtsev, the rector of St. Petersburg State University of Economics.
"The Russian volunteers’ movement turned over the recent years into one of the most important and rapidly growing institutions of society," the statement quoted Russian Deputy PM Golodets as saying.
"Volunteers’ support is indispensable in the country’s organization of landmark events, whether it may be a major international sports tournament or the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum," Golodets stated.
"I am very pleased that the 2020 Euro Cup in Saint Petersburg will grant a new opportunity to all interested citizens to distinctively represent their city and country at the international level, to show what they are capable of and to make this holiday of football bright and special," the Russian Deputy PM added.
The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup will be held at stadiums in 12 different cities across Europe, 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.
In mid-March, St. Petersburg Vice Governor Vladimir Kirillov announced to journalists that the city planned to recruit up to 2,000 volunteers for the major European football championship.
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 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.
The draw on December 2, 2018 in Dublin determined 10 groups for the qualifying stage. The Russian national team was placed in Group I alongside with the teams from Belgium, Kazakhstan, Scotland, Cyprus and San Marino. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the major European football championship.