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Thirty-two countries bid for Euro 2020 soccer
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 21 - 09 - 2013

DUBROVNIK, Croatia — Thirty-two countries, ranging from Finland and Sweden to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Macedonia and Kazakhstan, have declared interest in hosting matches at Euro 2020 soccer which will be staged across the continent.
Germany, France, England, Spain and Italy were all among the bidders named by UEFA Friday following a meeting of its executive committee in Dubrovnik, as were Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Israel and Belarus.
Potential hosts were given until last week to declare an interest and must present their full bid dossiers by April, with the 13 venues to be chosen in September next year.
“We are extremely proud to see the huge interest in the bidding process, with more than half of our member associations willing to host matches at Euro 2020,” said UEFA President Michel Platini.
“The finals will be a great celebration of football across the European continent, and the 60th anniversary edition will be truly special, by really coming to the doorstep of all football fans.”
Countries which declined to bid included Austria, Norway, Slovenia and Slovakia, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. UEFA has 54 member federations.
In a radical departure from the conventional format for major tournaments, UEFA decided last year to spread the tournament around its member associations to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Championship. Each of the 32 countries can present up to two bids, one for a package of three group matches and a round of 16 or quarterfinal game and one for the special package of the two semifinals and a final. Only one city can be appointed per country.
The required stadium capacities would be 70,000 for the semifinals and final, 60,000 for the quarterfinals and 50,000 for the group stage and round of 16 matches. — Reuters


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