The 2020 European Championship
could be spread across 12 or 13 cities around Europe, rather
than being staged in just one or two countries, UEFA president
Michel Platini said on Saturday.
"The Euros in 2020 could be held all over Europe," Platini
told a news conference.
"You could have one country with 12 host cities, or we could
have it in 12 or 13 cities all over Europe. It is just an idea,
but in these days of cheap air travel anything is possible.
"The majority of the executive committee thinks it's a good
idea and says we should really have a good think about this.
"We are going to have a meeting with all of our national
federations coming up to December and in Decemeber or January
we're are going to make a decision."
Turkey had been favourite to host the event in eight years'
time but their bid has been complicated by Istanbul's campaign
to also host the Olympic Games in the same year.
Platini said the idea for a multi-country Euros came to him
"a while ago" and had been met with interest from his
"It's an idea I feel really passionate about, it will be a
lot easier from a financial perspective for all the countries.
"If you need to build airports or 10 stadiums in a country,
this would be rather easy because it would be one stadium per
host city. That's all we can say at the moment.
"We have not decided anything yet, but by January we will
decide if we are going to have the Euros in one country or all
UEFA originally set a deadline of mid-May for hosts to
express an interest, but although they said two or three
countries other than Turkey had done so, they did not name them
One reason for UEFA not making them public is because
clearly they were not satisfied the interested countries could
stage the event, hence Platini's idea for a multi-country
Platini said during the UEFA Congress in Istanbul recently
that he would support a Turkey bid, but has now retreated
somewhat from that stance, saying on Saturday: "We are not going
to wait until we know whether Turkey are going to get the
"It creates a problem for us. We do have other candidates.
"Everyone has the possibility to host it."
When asked how fans would be expected to attend the matches
if they wanted to travel around Europe, he replied that in this
day of cheap air travel, movement around Europe was not as
prohibitive as it once was.
"And it is easier to go from London to Paris or Berlin than
Cardiff to Gdansk," the Frenchman said.
"It would be four games per venue. It is a great debate."
Platini's plan is not without merit. It means that matches
could be staged in a number of cities around the continent, in a
way, bringing the Euros to the fans, rather than the other way
The singlular, or co-hosting identity of the tournament
might be lost, but fans in some unlikely places could see
matches in their home cities.
The next Euros, in France in 2016, will comprise 24 teams,
but Platini said it was unlikely the Euros would expand to 32
teams as it may reduce in quality.
"And anyway the World Cup is 32 teams, its enough. When we
go to 24 teams the quality will not suffer. We have plenty of
good teams in Europe who could qualify, and there will be more
matches in the stadiums, but 32 is too many," he said.
The current tournament, the last to comprise 16 teams and
staged in Poland and Ukraine, ends with the final between Spain
and Italy in Kiev on Sunday.
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