x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

France tabs Lyon as Euro 2020 football tournament venue

Belgium to propose Brussels as another venue as Uefa invites European cities, and not countries, to make bids.

Spain won the European football championship in 2012 when it was jointly hosted by Ukraine and Poland. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
Spain won the European football championship in 2012 when it was jointly hosted by Ukraine and Poland. Laurence Griffiths / Getty Images
The French Football Federation has put forth Lyon as a candidate to host matches at Euro 2020, sources close to the bid process revealed on Wednesday.
The tournament will for the first time be held in 13 different cities across Europe, with one designated city serving as the venue for the both the semi-finals and final.
Alternatively, cities can campaign to host three group stage matches as well as a round of 16 match or quarter-final, while only one city per country will be allowed to serve as a host venue.
Taking into account the 58,000 capacity of Lyon's Grand Stade, which should be completed in time for the second half of the 2015-16 season, the stadium would only be able to bid for games in the early rounds.
Lyon's candidacy is the lone French bid, but with the country organising Euro 2016, the French submission does not figure to be among the favourites, the source told Agence France-Presse.
The deadline for candidate cities to formally submit their applications is Thursday, while Uefa's executive committee will announce which cities have formally entered the race later ths month.
The candidate cities will then have until April 25, 2014 to submit their bid dossiers. Uefa is scheduled to name the 13 hosts in September 2014.
Also on Wednesday, the Belgian FA said it would propose Brussels after an agreement over a new stadium was reached between the Flemish, Brussels and federal governments.
Belgian sporting and political figures have been battling over the location and nature of the replacement for the King Baudouin stadium, which hosts the national football team's games and other events such as Diamond League athletics.
The preferred plan is for a new stadium with a running track. Capacity could be up to 60,000 and the construction would be financed privately.
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