Sep 20, 2013, 8:15 AM EDT
In what is set to become a landmark tournament in terms of organization, Euro 2020 bids have now been submitted by 32 European nations.
Now the hard part begins.
Between now and next September, UEFA has to whittle down 40 cities to 13… get ready for some serious canvassing from all four corners of the European continent.
If you’re not familiar with the novel approach UEFA are taking for Euro 2020, let’s step back for a second to dissect exactly what will happen. As has been the case since the European Championships and World Cups began, either one host country of two joint-hosts have put on hugely expensive and lavish tournaments for the world to enjoy. But now all that may stop, as President of UEFA Michel Platini and his executive board have decided that the financial burden is too much for one nation to take, as arguably the worlds second biggest international soccer tournament is a massive commitment.
So, in 2020 the tournament will be spread across Europe, with one or two cities in each country bidding to become a host venue for the quirky 2020 edition. Will it work? Many are waiting on with bated breath, as this could also spell the end for one nation hosting the World Cup in the future.
Personally, I think it’s an incredibly smart idea to host the tournament across the entire European continent. It cuts down on costs, celebrates the entire regions cultural diversity and helps spread the beautiful game to the entire population of Europe. What’s not to like about it?
Plus, players will be gracing some of the greatest venues in world soccer, and fans will enjoy the excellent transport links via air and rail to zip between countries and take in many different games within a venues.
Turkey and Istanbul is a front-runner to hos the semi-finals and final, while other iconic cities such as London, Munich, Rome, Lisbon and Madrid all headlining the incredible cities that could host games.
It make sense, from a financial and spectator standpoint… so why not try it out? I have a feeling this strategy may be the go-to setup for future European Championships.
Below is the list of the 40 cities UEFA can choose from to host games in 2020, not bad, eh?
Armenia (Yerevan), Azerbaijan (Baku), Belarus (Minsk), Belgium (Brussels), Bulgaria (Sofia), Croatia (Zagreb), Czech Republic (Prague), Denmark (Copenhagen), England (London), Finland (Helsinki), France (Lyon), Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Skopje), Germany (Munich), Greece (Athens), Hungary (Budapest), Israel (Jerusalem), Italy (Rome and Milan), Kazakhstan (Astana), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Poland (Warsaw and Chorzow), Portugal (Lisbon and Porto), Republic of Ireland (Dublin), Romania (Bucharest), Russia (Saint Petersburg), Scotland (Glasgow), Serbia (Belgrade), Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia), Sweden (Solna), Switzerland (Basel), Turkey (Istanbul), Ukraine (Kyiv and Donetsk) and Wales (Cardiff)
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Watch and enjoy, then follow the second half live on NBC and online via Live Extra.
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