Brussels loses right to host Euro 2020 matches, Wembley gains four games
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said that the four Euro 2020 matches due to be staged in Brussels would be played at London’s Wembley stadium insteadfootball Updated: Dec 07, 2017 21:23 IST
Brussels has lost the right to stage matches at Euro 2020 following delays in the development of a new stadium, UEFA said on Thursday.
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said that the four matches due to be staged in Brussels would be played at London’s Wembley stadium instead, in addition to the two semi-finals and final already scheduled to be played there.
The 2020 tournament is the first to be played under a new format with group games spread across several countries.
Ceferin said the decision followed the Eurostadium project’s failure to meet the conditions imposed by the UEFA executive committee in September 2017.
The building of a new Brussels stadium for the tournament had run into delays involving the applications for construction and environmental permits.
“We did everything we could until the last moment to make UEFA hold off, but we respect the decision,” Koen De Brabander, chief executive of the Belgian Football Association, said in a statement.
“Missing out on Euro 2020 does not necessarily mean a death blow for our stadium plans. We absolutely need a new 45,000-seat stadium and we hope that the competent ministers will grant the permit in January so that a stadium for the 21st century can finally be built in our country.”
Brussels was one of 13 cities around Europe chosen to host the tournament. It was due to stage matches in the group stage and round of 16.
UEFA also said that Rome would host the opening match.