The growing positivity behind a continent-wide Euro 2020 must please UEFA president Michel Platini, who received much criticism for the idea just a year ago.
Platini was branded a moron by many experts and pundits for his apparent ‘out of touch’ comments about a Europe-wide tournament. Yet after the infrastructure and financial problems that surrounded Euro 2012 last summer, in which hotel rooms were being sold at almost £500 a night in the major cities, his novel Euro 2020 idea has drawn wider acceptance.
On Thursday UEFA confirmed it would stage a continental European Championships and invites national football associations to bid for host city status. The English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish FAs are all interested, and if they join together could all stage games should a ‘hub’ idea prove desirable.
For these four FAs could act as a northern ‘hub’ for Euro 2020, with four-stadium hubs in the west and the east making the tournament accessible for all fans. The distance between Wembley, Hampden Park, the Millennium Stadium and Dublin’s Aviva Stadium is far shorter than, say, Paris, London, Copenhagen and Stockholm.
A northern hub on the British Isles and Ireland would work wonders for Euro 2020, giving fans the safety and accessibility of movement while also offering four countries the chance to stage games.
In the west we could see Barcelona, Marseilles, Rome and Milan form a hub, while the east could boast Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and Vienna.
Granted, these names are pulled out of thin air and UEFA’s decision on host cities will be far more detailed and considered, yet the idea of hub areas should not be dismissed. The point of Euro 2020 is to improve the fan experience and bring Europe together; many punters in the betting world would rather they join a hub, rather than single host city miles from anywhere, to mingle with the multitude of crowds.
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