England and Scotland could go head to head in a battle to host the Euro 2020 final after UEFA announced they will stage the tournament in up to 13 cities across the continent, with the FAI indicating that they will bid to host some games at Aviva Stadium.
The FA will bid for the final and semi-finals in London, with the final at Wembley, in an eye-catching tournament finale, while their Scottish counterparts have also expressed an interest in hosting the showpiece.
Dublin, if successful, would more likely host group stage games.
Wales confirmed they will bid for matches as well.
FA chairman David Bernstein said recently that it would push to have Wembley Stadium, which is hosting the Champions League final for the second time in three years in 2013, considered for the semi-finals and final.
Bernstein said: “Clearly Wembley is incredibly highly thought of by UEFA and it is something we will push for.
“UEFA want to hold the semi-finals and the final on the same ground, or in the same city and I think we would be on their shortlist – but there would be some strong competition.
“The public want it and we’d want it and it would be wonderful to have it here.”
If Wembley were to host the final it could be that the semi-finals might take place at other stadia in London, such as the Olympic Stadium and the Emirates.
Wembley could face competition from the Scotland for the final – but it is more likely Glasgow would bid for group games.
Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan told the Press Association: “We would be interested in the final but we first have to find out UEFA’s minimum criteria for capacity – if they are looking for stadiums with greater capacity then of course we would be interested in hosting group matches.”
Celtic Park has the largest capacity in Scotland at just over 60,000 with Ibrox and Hampden Park also holding more than 50,000.
Regan added: “This is a one-off idea as a 60th celebration of the tournament and will bring football to a number of key cities across Europe. As something different and innovative it does carry a lot of merit.”
UEFA’s executive committee took the decision at a meeting in Lausanne yesterday, but there was one dissenting voice from Turkey’s member Senes Erzik - his country had bid to host the tournament alone.
The pan-continental Euro 2020 will be a one-off rather than a model of future events, and aimed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the tournament and provide opportunities to those countries who would usually be unable to be hosts.
The format and number of cities that will be involved will be decided by UEFA’s national teams committee but initial plans involve 12 cities hosting the group and knock-out games, with a 13th for the semi-finals and final.
The bidding process for the host cities will start in March and would take a year with decisions made in the spring of 2014.
UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino said: “UEFA Euro 2020 will be staged across the continent, in various major cities, following a decision taken today. A ’Euro for Europe’ follows an initial idea by UEFA president Michel Platini.
“The response has been extremely positive from all the national associations.”
Infantino confirmed there would be no automatic qualification for host countries.
There are logistical issues involving tax laws and fan transport, and UEFA will consider having regional ’hubs’ such as Scandinavia for group games.