Euro 2020 – where’s it gonna be?

The European Championships in 2020 are to be held across cities in Europe. It would be fitting if the 2020 Championships were held across 20 cities to create a nice little arrangement of 20’s. So here is my list of the 20 cities I think should hold matches in the Euros in 8 years’ time.

  1. Istanbul, Turkey – let’s kick some controversy off straight away. The city that hosted the 2005 Champions League final is the only city to bridge both Europe and Asia, posing the question of whether it deserves to host a European match at all. Being a competition run by UEFA (in conjunction with FIFA most probably), the stadium would be in the Asian half of the city, to add some extra controversy.
  2. Nyon, Switzerland – Home of UEFA HQ on the shores of Lake Geneva. Would be a convenient location to hold the biggest game of the tournament so that all of the UEFA bigwigs can just knock off early one day to go and watch the game. In their exclusive VIP box, of course.
  3. Monaco, France – This tournament is all about bringing football to places that don’t normally hold footballing events. Places that aren’t usually the centre of attention, benefiting from the millions that roll in because of the sporting event. It would be an opportunity for them to make use of their yachts as well. The players too.
  4. Acharnes, Greece – A municipality of Athens. UEFA would do some good with this and holding a match or two here would help bring some money into the country’s economy. Being so close to Athens, a city of fantastic history, it would be easy for fans to pop over before or after the match and spend some extra money there. A good news story of 2020.
  5. Rome, Italy – Despite saying this tournament would be a chance for football to go to smaller cities, it’s inevitable a match would be held here. It would though, be a chance to clean up the reputation of Italian fans and resolve the issues of violence that still occur when foreign fans visit. Plus, it’d give English broadcasters a chance to be ‘refined’ and have some more opera over the credits like good old Italia 90.
  6. Hammerfest, Norway – one of the most northerly cities in Europe and, let’s be honest, one of the best named cities in Europe as well. Would provide the press the opportunity for dozens of puns to distract from England’s inevitable underperformance/unexpected overperformance/non-qualification.
  7. Astana, Kazakhstan – Would give Brits the chance to dress up in mankinis and the press to litter their headlines with Borat references. Plus would actually fulfil the goal of the Championships of bringing football to places it doesn’t normally go.
  8. Barcelona, Spain – For the confusion it would cause. Would this be designated as the ‘Spanish city choice’ seeing as they are desperate for independence. Also the small matter of it, at the moment, being home of one of, if not the, greatest club side in the world.
  9. Budapest, Hungary – Already proven in holding sports events having held Grand Prix in the past and is home to some amazing neo-Gothic architecture. What? Football fans can be cultural.
  10. London, England – As ‘the home of football’ the English will be adamant that they hold at least one match. Especially considering the only trophy we’ve won was on home soil and the furthest we’ve come since was also on home soil. We managed to swing 2 Champions League finals in 3 years; this should be simple in comparison.
  11. Vienna, Austria – Austria helped to develop the modern game while England stayed stuck in the mud in the mid-nineteenth century, still suspicious of players who passed the ball. If anything, Austria can claim an equal stake in the title of ‘the home of football’ along with England and so deserve to hold a couple of matches.
  12. Pristina, Kosovo – For a state that has endured so much turmoil in the past, along with surrounding countries, this would be a grand gesture from UEFA. There is plenty of time to sort out any issues that may arise from this decision and I think, of all the places where international football is unlikely to be, this could be the unlikeliest.
  13. Sofia, Bulgaria – Another city that has been involved in a lot of progress in football’s history. Another country that’s unlikely to be able to hold the Championships on its own. A worthy candidate.
  14. Belfast, Northern Ireland – Another city that has been torn apart for years. Maybe the prestige of a big tournament match could finally convince people to set some of their differences aside. It isn’t the first time big fears and tensions in cities have been suppressed for the sake of football. Asking too much or living in hope?
  15. Glasgow, Scotland – By the time the 2020 Championships come around, Scotland may well be an independent country and Rangers would probably be back in the SPL. Scotland, in the early years of football, were also generally ahead of the English curve and were of course champions of the world when they beat England at Wembley in 1967.
  16. Amsterdam, The Netherlands – Dutch total football captivated fans everywhere and held the torch for modern Spain and Barcelona fans. Although they’ve never won so much as a World Cup, they deserve this much.
  17. Paris, France
  18. Berlin, Germany – These two because they are major countries and won’t let UEFA leave them out of the party.
  19. Riga, Latvia – The Soviet Union won the first ever European Championships back in 1960 and Latvia was previously part of that union. Along with neighbouring countries of Estonia, Lithuania and Belarus, it’s unlikely to ever hold a Championships like this and so is also deserving of a match in 2020.
  20. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – Euro 2020 is all about bringing the Euros to places unlikely to ever hold a whole European Championships. And where else is more unlikely to hold a whole Euros than Abu Dhabi eh? The cynics can say it’s all about the money but this is simply a way of letting them prepare for the World Cup in 2022. Isn’t that nice of UEFA.

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