Dublin to host four Euro 2020 matches

The Aviva Stadium in Dublin has been confirmed as the venue for three group games and a Round of 16 tie at the multi-city European football championships in 2020.
Dublin to host four Euro 2020 matches

Uefa formally unveiled the tournament identity and venue rollout yesterday in London, which will stage the semi-finals and final at Wembley.

Indeed FA chief executive Martin Glenn believes England should be aiming to lift the trophy at the old stadium in 2020.

As well as London and Dublin, the host cities are Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, , Glasgow, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg.

Glasgow’s Hampden Park, like Dublin, will host three group games and a round of 16 tie. Neither city, nor country, has staged a European Championships match before.

With Wembley staging the two semi-finals and final of the event, new FA chairman Greg Clarke said during his welcome speech that England should try to “at least replicate” the team’s achievement the last time the country hosted the Euros in 1996, when they reached the semi-finals.

But when asked later if that was ambitious enough, Glenn said: “We’ll turn up to every tournament as contenders. That has to be our expectation.

“You can never say you’re going to win it because everybody else wants to win it too.

“But that is our ambition: to turn up to every tournament as a reasonable favourite and take it from there.”

While some will applaud Glenn’s willingness to set a bold target for the team, others will point out that targets have to be reasonable for them to mean anything.

And England’s dire record in recent tournaments, including this summer’s defeat to Iceland at Euro 2016, suggests this goal may be too much of a stretch.

Earlier this month Clarke described his predecessor Greg Dyke’s infamous countdown to World Cup glory in 2022 clock at the FA’s St George’s Park training base as “daft”.

Predictions of success on home turf in four years’ time also imply the team will definitely reach Euro 2020, which is not guaranteed as all 24 places are up for grabs in qualifying.

But, in keeping with the innovation of sharing matches at the finals around Europe, the qualifying format is also different for Euro 2020, with a new Uefa Nations League effectively replacing the play-offs as a second chance for four nations to reach the final competition.

The first 20 places will be settled as usual via qualifying groups in 2019.

Glenn admitted England should take “nothing for granted” about qualifying but said that “doesn’t appear to be the issue for us”, as experience would suggest England’s troubles start once the competition gets stiffer.

It was former Uefa president Michel Platini’s idea to share the main tournament’s 51 games between 13 cities as a way of marking its 60th anniversary.

His successor, the little-known Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin, has suggested this format will not be repeated as it represents “a risk” to Uefa in terms of costs and security, not to mention the difficulties and expenses fans will face if they want to follow their teams.

But Ceferin, who was making his first public appearance in the role since his landslide election last week, was more positive about the competition yesterday, as he highlighted its potential for bringing the four corners of Europe together, as well as spreading the opportunity to host a major sporting event to new cities.

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