Platini in Wembley talks for Euro 2020
LONDON - The Associated Press
UEFA President Michel Platini (C) arrives to watch a Europa League match between Lazio and Tottenham Hotspur at the White Hart Lane Stadium in London. AP photoUEFA President Michel Platini has held talks with English football officials about staging key 2020 European Championship matches at Wembley Stadium.
Platini has proposed scattering matches across as many as 12 European countries, rather than selecting a single host nation in 2020.
At talks in London last week, Platini discussed the prospect of using Wembley for the Euro 2020 semifinals and final with English Football Association chairman David Bernstein, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.
Platini came up with the radical plan for Euro 2020 after Turkey emerged as a strong bidder. But if Istanbul’s 2020 Olympics bid wins next September, Turkey won’t be allowed to stage the Euros in the same year as well.
After Turkey’s bid, a Celtic joint bid of Scotland, Ireland and Wales along with a Georgia-Azerbaijan bid also came along.
The deadline for declarations of interest was at midnight on 15 May 2012, but UEFA announced that further bids were welcome on 16 May.
During the European Football Championships in Ukraine and Poland, Platini said that the Euro 2020 Euro could be hosted “by 12 or 13 cities” across the continent rather than one or two nations in a radical project for the world’s second biggest football tournament.
The English FA doesn’t want to get dragged into a costly bidding process for the Euro 2020 games after the failure of its bid for the 2018 World Cup.
But Platini already declared he has a strong liking for the 90,000-capacity Wembley Stadium, which re-opened in 2007 after being rebuilt.
After the success of the 2011 Champions League final at Wembley, UEFA took the unprecedented step of handing the north London venue the 2013 final as well.
It will be the first time a stadium has hosted the European Cup final twice in three years, although Wembley hosted the final twice in four years in 1968 and 1971.