KOLKATA /India/, October 27. /TASS, Oleg Koshelev/. A total of five European cities, including Russia’s Saint Petersburg, submitted bids for hosting the opening match of the 60th anniversary 2020 UEFA Euro Cup, UEFA Secretary General Theodore Theodoridis told TASS on Friday.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko, who is also the president of the Russian Football Union (RFU), announced on Thursday that Russia had submitted a bid to host the opening match of the main European football championship in the country’s second-largest city of Saint Petersburg.
UEFA’s Theodoridis said in an interview with TASS on Friday that Russia’s Saint Petersburg competes at the moment for the right to host the opening match of the 2020 Euro Cup with four other cities in Europe and UEFA would announce the winner in the first half of 2018, most likely in February or June during the organization’s Executive Board sessions.
Asked to comment on chances of Saint Petersburg to win the privilege of hosting the opening match of the 60th anniversary Euro Cup, Theodoridis said he would abstain from making comments on the issue since it would be completely up to the UEFA Executive Board to make the final decision.
Russia’s 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.
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.