The 12 Euro 2020 matches that St James Park could host – Decision due Friday

    Euro 2020 will kick off at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico in exactly seven weeks time.

    Turkey v Italy will be the first match of the tournament on Friday 11 June 2021.

    The final set to be played at Wembley 30 days later on Sunday 11 July, with both semi-finals also there (Wembley).

    The tournament has of course been delayed by a year due to the pandemic but confusingly has still retained the Euro 2020 branding.

    Instead of a single country or two hosting all of the tournament, the games were spread out and scheduled to be played in 12 different stadiums / countries.

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    Amsterdam (Netherlands) – Johan Cruyff Arena

    Baku (Azerbaijan) – Olympic Stadium

    Bilbao (Spain) – San Mames

    Bucharest (Romania) – Arena Nationala

    Budapest (Hungary) – Puskas Arena

    Copenhagen (Denmark) – Parken Stadium

    Dublin (Republic of Ireland) – Aviva Stadium

    Glasgow (Scotland) – Hampden Park

    London (England) – Wembley Stadium

    Munich (Germany) – Allianz Arena

    Rome (Italy) – Stadio Olimpico

    Saint Petersburg (Russia) – Krestovsky Stadium

    With UEFA wanting as many fans as possible inside grounds for the tournament, each host city / stadium / country had to confirm that at least 25% of capacity could be filled for the group games.

    An announcement is scheduled for today (Friday 23 April 2021), with UEFA set to confirm the venues holding games.

    Recently, it was reported that three unnamed cities / grounds were struggling to remain as a host stadium due to the virus situation in their locality, meaning that they couldn’t fulfil the 25% of capacity for fans to attend group matches.

    It later emerged that the three struggling to still host Euro 2020 matches are Bilbao, Munich and Dublin.

    Bilbao have gone public and stated that they have already had written confirmation from UEFA to say they have been dropped, whilst the Republic of Ireland government have indicated that they don’t believe they can give guarantees that they can be ready in time to allow 25% of fans inside the Aviva Stadium. The Allianz Stadium in Munich also at risk of losing their matches.

    The other nine venues, including Wembley and Hampden Park, have confirmed they are ready to meet the fan criteria to host their scheduled Euro 2020 matches.

    Now it has been revealed that St James Park has been put forward as a replacement venue for any Euro 2020 matches that need to be moved.

    Henry Winter is Chief Football Writer for The Times and usually a very reliable source.

    He has reported that the English FA have contacted the Euro 2020 tournament organisers and told them that both Wembley and St James Park are ready and willing to host any matches that need to be moved.

    These are the twelve matches that could need new homes:

    Munich (Allianz Arena)

    3 Group F games

    France vs Germany (15 June)

    Portugal vs Germany (19 June)

    Germany vs Hungary (23 June)

    Quarter-final: (2 July)

    Bilbao (Estadio San Mames)

    3 Group E matches

    Spain vs Sweden (14 June)

    Spain vs Poland (19 June)

    Slovakia vs Spain (23 June)

    Round of 16: 1B vs 3A/D/E/F (27 June)

    Dublin (Aviva Stadium)

    3 Group E matches

    Poland vs Slovakia (14 June)

    Sweden vs Slovakia (18 June)

    Sweden vs Poland (23 June)

    Round of 16 1D vs 2F (29 June)

    It would be great to see any Euro 2020 matches played at St James Park but certainly the thought of Germany v France and / or Germany v Portugal, is something to lift the spirits.

    Allan Saint-Maximin certainly has the raw talent to one day play for his country but more realistically for this tournament, it would be something special if Martin Dubravka was playing at St James Park in this Euro 2020 tournament. Emil Krafth another possibility with Sweden, if St James Park does indeed get some matches to host.

    Thankfully, if St James Park was to be awarded any Euro 2020 matches, we would at least be saved the embarrassment of Mike Ashley’s hundreds of trampy adverts on display, as the tournament organisers would take over the stadium and apply their own branding and advertising, instead of the Newcastle United owner’s retail empire promotion.

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