The 2020 European Championship, the tournament that will be celebrating its 60-year anniversary in 12 different locations, will begin in Rome. The Executive UEFA Committee today decided in Nyon that the opening event will take place in the Italian capital, with the Stadio Olimpico hosting one of the most highly-anticipated matches across Europe.
“It is an extraordinary result for the entire Italian footballing sphere,” said FIGC President Carlo Tavecchio. “I want to thank President Ceferin, who has always been very close to me, and all the Executive members, in particular, the Italians, because today the FIGC has today been honoured on the international stage for its effectiveness.”
Sports Minister Luca Lotti also shared the enthusiasm of President Tavecchio, writing on Twitter: “Rome has been chosen by UEFA to host the opening game of the 2020 Euros. This is great news for Italy and it is the result of all the hard work put in the by the team. A step forward in helping to relaunch our football.”
A celebratory tweet was also published by Rome Mayor Virginia Raggi: “This is wonderful news for our city that has been chosen by UEFA to host the opening game of the 2020 Euros. Rome once again will be at the centre of a great international event.”
For the FIGC it is another form of recognition on the international stage, having already helped elect Infantino to FIFA and Ceferin to UEFA. President Tavecchio managed in 2014 to obtain the 2016 Champions League final for Milan. A hugely successful and organised event put on by Italian football before the Under-21 European Championship will then take place in 2019 in five Italian cities and San Marino.
According to FIGC CEO and UEFA Vice-President Michele Uva, “the inaugural match of the 2020 European Championship being handed over to Rome is a means of recognising the great international work that has been put in over the past year by Italy. Uva was keen to praise “the great work done by Evelina Christillin and Andrea Agnelli. They’ve both done really well. We worked as a team and this is a great indicator of credibility for the Italian football system.”
The candidacy for the inaugural game was included in the FIGC dossier presented back in 2014. The document highlighted the city’s main strengths: the tradition of Italian football; the universal value of Rome; the fantastic location for fans to take part in the event; the role Italy and of Rome in unifying Europe; the favourable geographical position of the country in regard to other candidates; the quality of Italy’s hospitality and the varied means of accommodation in Rome; the charm of the Stadio Olimpico and its organisational qualities and then final the multi-ethnicity of the city. “As stated in this dossier, Italy hopes to host UEFA EURO 2020 and proposes the Stadio Olimpico in Rome as the place to start this event, through an inaugural ceremony that involves the whole city, paying homage to what Rome represents for Europe: the ‘home of all people’. ”
Having been assigned the opening game, Rome and Italy will now secure further objectives, linked to economic investment in the city, employment, infrastructure, transport systems, accommodation, art and much more.
Due to the Eurostadium project’s failure to meet the conditions imposed by the UEFA Executive Committee during its meeting of 20th September 2017, the four matches initially scheduled to be held in Brussels will now be allocated to Wembley Stadium, London following a vote by the committee. This means Wembley will host a total of seven matches since they were already set to stage the semi-finals and final of the tournament.
This is the tournament composition:
Group A: Rome and Baku
Group B: Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen
Group C: Amsterdam and Bucharest
Group D: London and Glasgow
Group E: Bilbao and Dublin
Group F: Munich and Budapest
The schedule for the games will be decided and confirmed in April 2018