London’s Wembley stadium to host climax of Euro 2020

first_imgBy Martyn HermanUEFA president Michel Platini’s vision of a European Championship spread across the continent came to fruition on Friday as London’s Wembley Stadium was chosen to host the climax of Euro 2020 with 12 other cities joining the party.The 90,000-seater Wembley, rebuilt from 2003 to 2007 and venue of the 2011 and 2013 Champions League finals, will stage both semi-finals and the final of the 60th anniversary tournament dubbed a “Euro for Europe”.It will be the first time in the competition’s history when a tournament will be hosted by more than two countries.Wembley got the nod over Munich’s Allianz Arena, the other stadium initially bidding for semi-finals and final hosting rights. Munich had to make do with being one of 12 cities awarded one of the standard packages, comprising three group matches and a knockout round tie.The home of Bayern Munich will host a quarter-final, along with the Baku Olympic Stadium in Azerbaijan, Rome’s Olympic Stadium and the Zenit Arena in St Petersburg, Russia.Last 16 ties will take place in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Brussels and Glasgow.Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium along with bids from Stockholm, Skopje, Jerusalem, Sofia and Minsk were all rejected.The vote for Wembley comes as a welcome tonic for the Football Association after its failed bids to host the 2006 and 2018 World Cup finals but FA chairman Greg Dyke denied any deal had been done with their German counterparts, the DFB.“There is no deal,” Dyke told reporters at the ceremony in Geneva. “Other than we will not bid (to stage) Euro 2024 because it would be a waste of time because we wouldn’t get it.”Dyke, however, hinted that England would support a German bid to host the 2024 tournament.DFB president Wolfgang Niersbach, whose federation are believed to have pulled out from trying to host final and semi-final games with an eye on a 2024 bid, said: “I am very satisfied and happy that we could convince UEFA with our bid and have in 2020, after 32 years, European championship games again in Germany.”England has hosted only one major tournament since the 1966 World Cup, the much-praised Euro 96, the final of which between Germany and the Czech Republic was played at the former Wembley.“It’s nice to win one,” Dyke said. “Wembley is a great stadium and we are delighted to be hosting the finals of this tournament. Wembley has been completely rebuilt since 96 and it’s now a beautiful stadium.“I would also like to say what a good idea this is when you sit and watch all these capital cities across Europe, what a good idea to play a tournament across all those, so congratulations to UEFA.”“This bidding process was open to more than 50 UEFA countries so for Wembley to be ultimately recognised in this way is testament to a lot of hard work behind the scenes,” Dyke added on the FA website.“It will be a great honour to be part of what will surely be a superb celebration of 60 years of the European Championship.”Dublin’s inclusion in the tournament coincides with the Football Association of Ireland’s 100th anniversary.“This one off opportunity to host part of the European finals at our home stadium will provide a major boost for Irish football and the country as a whole,” FAI chief John Delaney said in a statement.There was relief too for Russia, given the current conflict near its border with Ukraine.“I want to congratulate all supporters of Russian Football,” Russian Minister for Sport Vitaly Mutko said.“Of course, there was a chance that because of the current political situation, the powers would refuse to let us host matches at Euro 2020. But we are really happy that the world of sport and politics are kept separate.”The choice of Rome’s Olympic Stadium for a quarter-final match, follows on from Thursday’s UEFA announcement that Milan’s San Siro would be the venue for the 2016 Champions League final.Football Federation president Carlo Tavecchio said it showed the country is making strides after years battling problems with hooliganism and crumbling stadia.“From a sporting perspective our intention is to consolidate the international dimension of Italian football, contribute to the renewal of our stadiums and support the growth of the football movement, in particular at grass roots level,” he said.No French cities will be used although France is hosting the next finals in 2016.last_img read more

Safety of beach-goers at Donegal strand must be paramount – Councillor

first_imgCouncillor John Sheamais Ó Fearraigh has called on authorities to do more to guarantee the safety of beach users amid growing reports of incidents of fallen rock at the main access route onto Magheragallon strand in Gaoth Dobhair.Sinn Féin representatives have this week written to Donegal County Council to request information on the efforts being made to ensure the safety of all those accessing the beach.Cllr Ó Fearraigh has once again stressed the need for action to be taken immediately by the authorities in order to prevent injury to beach goers. Cllr Ó Fearraigh said “This week Sinn Féin has written to the executive of Donegal County Council to bring to their attention the growing number of reports from people who’ve contacted me claiming that they have witnessed fallen rock at the pathway from the pier leading to Magheragallon beach.“Reports suggest that loose rock from the cliff face adjacent to the pathway is now a growing problem with loose stone falling onto the access route below.“Obviously, this is a real cause for concern particularly considering that the beach is a popular spot for walking and recreational activities for local people and visitors to the area alike, and loose rock poses a very real threat to the safety of all beach goers.”He added that he raised this matter with the council previously, and it is imperative that the relevant authorities respond appropriately, and without delay, to resolve this issue quickly and to protect all those accessing the strand at Magheragallon. “While we now await the response of the local authority, clearly this is a matter which cannot be left unresolved for much longer as time is very much of the essence should accident, injury or worse wish to be avoided.“In the interim, I would strongly encourage all those using the beach to exercise extreme caution and to take all the necessary precautions while entering and leaving the beach via the pathway leading from Magheragallon pier onto the strand.”Safety of beach-goers at Donegal strand must be paramount – Councillor was last modified: March 1st, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more