Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Brussels loses four Euro 2020 matches to Wembley

Brussels loses four Euro 2020 matches to Wembley

Brussels has lost its right to host games at the 2020 European Championships, with Wembley now set to stage four more additional matches for the competition.

Belgium's capital city was due to have three group fixtures and one last-16 tie, but delays over a new stadium forced UEFA's executive committee to make changes to the schedule.

Rome's Stadio Olimpico will host the opening game of Euro 2020, Wembley will stage three group matches, a round of 16 game plus the semi-finals and final, while the venue pairings have been confirmed, UEFA said.

Cardiff and Stockholm had also been in contention to host the extra games.

Staged across 12 countries, Euro 2020's unusual format was former UEFA president Michel Platini's brainchild - a one-off gesture to celebrate the tournament's 60th birthday.

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"We discussed with Brussels for quite a long time and they were not able to provide us with all the documentation". They didn't expect a decision until January and they did not know whether that would be a yes or a no. Experts from [our] administration felt it was a high risk for UEFA to wait.

Koen De Brabander, chief executive of the Belgian football association (KBVB) said he had attempted to get UEFA to hold off but Thursday's decision was not "a death blow for our stadium plans".

The other host cities for Euro 2020 are: Baku, Copenhagen, Munich, Budapest, Rome, Amsterdam, Bucharest and Bilbao.

Host countries are guaranteed at least two home group stage matches if they qualify, meaning England and Scotland would be in the same group if they both reach the finals.

A conflict between the first two broke out in 2014 that resulted in Russian Federation annexing Crimea from Ukraine, while the second two fought a war in the early 1990s that never resulted in a peace treaty.

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