0 Uefa to hold 2020 finals across continent

UEFALogoThe 2020 European Championship finals will be held in a number of cities across Europe, Uefa has announced.

It means there will be no one country hosting the tournament, which will have expanded to 24 teams by then.

The Football Association has already put forward Wembley to European governing body Uefa as a possible venue for the final.

Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland have also expressed their interest in staging matches to Uefa.

And Jonathan Ford, Chief Executive of the FA of Wales, has previously said the FAW would want Cardiff to be a "host city" under Platini's plan.

Following the announcement, Ford said the plan was a "fantastic idea", but stressed fans should not have to travel long distances at great expense. "The idea of hub areas should be very seriously considered. We don't want fans going from east to west," he said.

"The proximity of say Manchester, Cardiff, Belfast and Dublin is even closer than one end of Ukraine to the other. There's many a situation I can see where you can have group hubs to make it a great fan experience."

A spokesperson for the Football Supporters' Federation said the move was "one which will divide fans' opinions. When the idea of a pan-European tournament was first proposed, our primary concern was that supporters across the continent were properly consulted before anything was set in stone. The FSF will speak to Football Supporters Europe to see what fans from across the continent make of this move."

Uefa's executive committee took the decision at a meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, in December. General Secretary, Gianni Infantino, told a press conference after the meeting: "Uefa Euro 2020 will be staged across the continent, in various major cities. A Euro for Europe follows an initial idea by Uefa president Michel Platini, who described it as "an idea I feel really passionate about".

The response has been extremely positive from all the national associations. Infantino confirmed that only Turkey, who had initially bid to host Euro 2020, opposed the decision through the country's Uefa vice-president Senes Erzik.

Platini, who won the tournament in 1984 with France, floated the idea as a way of avoiding high costs at a time of financial hardship in many countries. Higher than expected costs and building delays caused problems for the 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

"It will be a lot easier from a financial perspective for all the countries," Platini said in June.

Former FA Chief Executive, Mark Palios, said: "The big downside is fans' travel, both in terms of getting the opportunity to follow your team and knowing where you are going to be based. Hopefully, UEFA can plan something which takes that into account. Otherwise, it's a sensible suggestion. It gives everybody a chance to share in it rather than just the larger countries."

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