Brussels loses #Euro2020 matches to Wembley

Rome's Stadio Olimpico will host the opening game of the tournament in the summer of 2020

Rome's Stadio Olimpico will host the opening game of the tournament in the summer of 2020

The building project for the new Brussels stadium for Euro 2020 had run into delays due to the applications for construction and environmental permits.

Today UEFA has announced that the opening match will be played at the Olimpico, with the Group A matches to be paired between Rome and Baku.

"We are delighted to help Uefa by hosting the additional four matches at Wembley Stadium", said Football Association chief executive Martin Glenn.

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.

Should the Republic of Ireland qualify for Euro 2020, they will play one of their group games in Bilbao.

The other host cities that will hold three group games and a last 16 game are Copenhagen (Denmark), Bucharest (Romania), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Bilbao (Spain), Budapest (Hungary) and now London.

"Over the past four years, Wales has successfully staged three Uefa events - firstly, the Super Cup final in 2014, followed by the men's and women's Champions League finals in June this year", it said.

A draw was also held to decide which cities would host games from the various groups.

The statement concluded by wishing Uefa and Wembley all the best and saying it would now concentrate all its efforts on ensuring Wales qualify. The only German stadium involved is the Allianz Arena in Munich, which will hold group-stage matches and a quarterfinal.

The decision means that Wembley will stage seven games in total - the final, both semi-finals, a last-16 match and three group games - resulting in the biggest festival of global football in the country since Euro 96.

Minister for Sport Tracey Crouch said: "With matches being played across Europe, for the 60th anniversary of the competition, it will be a very special tournament and I know that we will give fans a warm welcome when they visit England's iconic national stadium".

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