Two venues not confirmed for Euro 2021


Euro 2021 update May 2020 - Wembley Image: MJR Group Ltd./Coliseum

The two host venues that are reportedly yet to furnish the requisite legal guarantees to stage the postponed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament next year are Wembley Stadium in United Kingdom and Johan Cruijff ArenA in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Henk Markerink, CEO, Johan Cruijff ArenA, Netherlands, is the Member of ‘Coliseum’s’ Strategic Committee. Sander van Stiphout, Director International, Johan Cruijff ArenA, Netherlands, will be one of the Speakers at the Coliseum Summit EUROPE to be held at Ascot Racecourse in UK on September 2-3, 2020.

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2020, was scheduled to be the 16th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe organized by the Union of European Football Associations.

UEFA had announced in March the postponement of its flagship national team competition, UEFA EURO 2020, due to be played in June and July this year to June 11 to July 11, 2021, due to the unprecedented health crisis which has arose globally due to COVID-19. The tournament will still be known as UEFA EURO 2020.

To this end, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has put off next week’s executive committee meeting, at which the venues were to be confirmed, until mid-June due to unresolved issues affecting both Wembley and the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam.

Wembley is the most important of the 12 venues for the sporting showpiece, which has been put back a year, as England’s national stadium has been lined up to host seven matches, including the semi-finals and the final.

Reliable sources said there is no threat to Wembley being confirmed as the final host venue but that there have been delays in obtaining legal guarantees from local authorities in London.

In March this year, UEFA decided to delay Euro 2020, which was due to be staged this summer in 12 different European countries, over health concerns in an effort to avoid placing further pressure on national public services during COVID-19 which has placed the world on edge.

The tournament was due to be held across 12 stadia in 12 different nations, and had been scheduled to kick off in Rome’s (in Italy) Stadio Olimpico on June 12 this year. Wembley was to serve as the centerpiece of Euro 2020, with the final, semi-finals, Round of 16 and group stage games taking place in London.

Munich (Allianz Arena in Germany), Baku (Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan), Saint Petersburg (Gazprom Arena in Russia), Copenhagen (Parken Stadium in Denmark), Dublin (Aviva Stadium in Ireland), Glasgow (Hampden Park in Scotland), Bucharest (Arena Națională in Romania), Amsterdam (Johan Cruijff ArenA in Netherlands), Bilbao (San Mamés in Spain) and Budapest (Puskás Aréna in Hungary) are also due to stage games.

Recently, UEFA announced that the next meeting of its executive committee, originally scheduled for May 27, has been postponed to June 17, due to the existence of “some remaining open points” regarding a “small number” of proposed venues for the rearranged Euros next year. The meeting had been due to confirm the venues for next year’s tournament.

UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin acknowledged that there were still some issues with locking down venues for 2021, stating that Euro 2021 could be held in 10, nine or eight stadia. Media reports stated that Wembley and Johan Cruijff ArenA are the two remaining venues with question marks against them.

While there is said to be no threat to Wembley’s status as a host venue, the delays are reportedly due to the need to secure legal guarantees from local authorities whose focus is currently on issues revolving around COVID-19.

Concerts that had been planned for Wembley in June, July 2021 also need to be canceled, with an agreement reached with the English Football League (EFL) over the dates for its play-off finals. Johan Cruijff ArenA also needs to complete arrangements over canceling concerts and other events scheduled for next year.

Gijs de Jong, Director of Euro 2020 in Amsterdam, said that he was confident that Johan Cruijff ArenA will retain its position as a host venue.

De Jong added, “Since the decision to move Euro 2020 to 2021, we have been in constructive discussions with UEFA and all partners. This has been done with a positive attitude and the talks are on schedule. The Municipality of Amsterdam has already promised that the four games can be played in Amsterdam in 2021. Johan Cruijff ArenA has also confirmed that the dates are in the diary. We need some time to formalize this and put it on paper. But as we said, we assume that it will succeed.”

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