MOSCOW, October 26. /TASS/. Russia has submitted a bid to host the opening match of the 60th anniversary UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) Euro Cup in 2020, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko said on Thursday.
"The UEFA has launched a bidding process for the 2020 Euro Cup and the venues’ selection is underway," Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), told journalists.
"In view of such an opportunity (of hosting the opening match), why not taking the chance?" Mutko said. "We have submitted a bid offering Saint Petersburg as the venue for the opening match."
The Russian second largest city of Saint Petersburg was earlier granted the right to host three group stage matches and one of the quarterfinals of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup. A newly-built football arena in Saint Petersburg hosted this summer the opening and final games of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and will also serve as the venue for matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
"We need to prepare everything in detail, since it is a great responsibility and some work should be done," Mutko said. "I believe that such city as Saint Petersburg deserves to be the venue of this tournament. In my opinion, this city currently has one of the best stadiums in Europe."
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. The construction project was amended three times: in 2008, 2010 and 2013.
In January, St. Petersburg held a solemn ceremony to unveil an official emblem for the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup. The ceremony was attended by Deputy PM Mutko and UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin.
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.
The decision came as a result of UEFA’s then-President Michel Platini’s initiative, who proposed concept of the 2020 tournament "EURO for Europe."
The matches of the 2020 Euro Cup will be held at stadiums of 13 European countries in 13 different cities from each part of the continent - from St. Petersburg to Bilbao and from Dublin to Baku.
Four cities in different European countries will be hosting each three group stage matches and one quarterfinal match of the 2020 Euro Cup and they are St. Petersburg (Russia), Rome (Italy), Munich (Germany) and Baku (Azerbaijan).
Copenhagen (Denmark), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Dublin (Ireland), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium) and Glasgow (Scotland) will each host three group stage matches and one match of the Last 16 round.
UEFA’s Executive Committee decided that the semifinals and the final of the 2020 UEFA Euro Cup will be held at the Wembley Stadium in London.