Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed today that the UK would be willing to host Euro 2020 this summer - should UEFA deem it necessary - while also announcing a Home Nations bid for the 2030 World Cup.
Last week the UK emerged as favourites for hosting this summer's tournament, as concerns across the continent about the logistics of the Euros continue to grow.
UEFA are expected to decide in April if the 60th anniversary of the European Championships should still be held across the original 12 host cities, amid fears over further coronavirus spreads during a Europe-wide tournament, or if the UK's offer to solo host the spectacle would be more prudent.
Gareth Southgate feels the UK is "well placed" to host the competition, with the infrastructure already in place to put on a show. With that in mind, FFT has outlined 12 UK stadiums that could potentially host the tournament this summer.
Home to England’s national team, Wembley is the obvious choice in this list. Appointed the host of all three of England’s group matches, plus a Round of 16 fixture, quarter-final, both semi-finals, and the final of Euro 2020, it is impossible to overlook England’s national football stadium. No matter the decision for hosting the European Championships, expect Wembley's involvement.
Scotland’s international football stadium is already due to host three group matches - two of which will involve Scotland - and one Round of 16 fixture for Euro 2020, also making Hampden Park’s inclusion an inevitability. A 23-year wait for Scotland to reach a major tournament will no doubt see the Tartan Army rocking at Hampden Park.
At the beginning of the 2010s, the Welsh FA upped sticks and moved their home to the Cardiff City Stadium, due to minimal crowds at old haunt the Millennium Stadium. The decision proved a successful one as the national team progressed to Euro 2016 and again to the coming summer's tournament. Since the switch, Wales’ national rugby team have occupied the Millennium Stadium instead.
Last International fixture: N/A
After hosting the 2012 London Olympics, West Ham United successfully beat Tottenham Hotspur to the acquisition of the London Stadium in 2016, formerly called the Olympic Stadium. Yet to host an international game, Euro 2020 would be the perfect opportunity for the London Stadium's first experience.
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Last International fixture: N/A
Similar to the London Stadium, Tottenham Hotspur’s brand new ground hasn’t hosted an international fixture. The structure’s opening in 2019 called for claims that it was the best stadium in the world, beating rivals Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium for our third and final choice of stadium from London.
Purpose built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester City acquired the stadium the following year after leaving long-term home Maine Road. The Etihad’s recent upgrade in 2015 allowed it to surpass Old Trafford as the best stadium in Manchester, despite hosting 20,000 fewer fans. With Manchester United's ground untouched in 15 years, their rivals' stadium is more suited for the demands of an international tournament.
The past few years has returned Anfield to glory once again with Liverpool's impressive displays in the league and in Europe. A 2016 expansion of Anfield’s Main Stand increased capacity by 8,500, making it one of the largest all-seater stands in Europe, while the infamous Kop residing in Liverpool’s home means this stadium has earned the status to host fixtures at Euro 2020 - if the responsibility lies with the UK.
Birmingham’s largest stadium and home to Aston Villa, Villa Park became the first English ground to host international games in three different centuries, making it hard to overlook one of Euro 96's most important grounds. However, the legacy of this iconic site is challenged by Leicester City’s King Power Stadium for the Midland’s Euro 2020 venue.
Stadium of Light
Although slightly smaller than neighbours Newcastle United's St. James’ Park, Sunderland’s home ground is all the more modern after opening in 1997. Having also hosted an England fixture more recently, the Stadium of Light seems the frontrunner for the north-east’s pick of stadiums, despite The Black Cats currently plying their trade in League One.
St Mary's Stadium
The largest football stadium in the south of England outside of London, Southampton’s home ground maintains all of the qualities necessary for international fixtures. After opening in 2001, the south coast stadium has hosted six international matches.
One of Euro 96’s eight host stadiums, Leeds United’s promotion back to the Premier League has returned an historic ground to centre stage. Hosting an England international as recently as three years ago, Elland Road is in a strong position to stake a claim for hosting Euro 2020 fixtures. There are also plans for Elland Road to expand to a 50,000 capacity in the coming years.
Perhaps the most surprising inclusion in this list, Stadium MK was nominated as one of England’s 12 stadiums for their 2018 World Cup bid. That didn’t come to fruition, but MK Dons’ Buckinghamshire home, like St. Mary’s Stadium, maintains requisite qualities perfect for hosting international games.
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