The decision to change the venue for Euro 2020 against St James Park and Newcastle United
Friday was decision day for the organizers of Euro 2020.
The tournament is only seven weeks old and the last chance for all 12 sites to commit to meeting the requirement, to be able to have at least 25% capacity open to fans to attend group matches.
Of the 12 pitches in 12 different countries, three would find it difficult to meet this demand from the fans in the stadiums, namely Munich, Dublin and Bilbao.
Ahead of Friday’s announcement, it was revealed that St James Park had been offered as a replacement venue for all Euro 2020 matches that were to be moved.
Henry Winter is the football editor for Time and generally a very reliable source. He reported that the English FA have contacted the organizers of the Euro 2020 tournament and told them that Wembley and St James Park are ready and willing to host any matches that need to be moved.
When the organizers of Euro 2020 announced the final arrangements for the venue for the matches to be broadcast, they made it public that while Munich had given the necessary assurances and would still host their scheduled matches, neither Dublin nor Bilbao had been able to and no ‘had lost their scheduled matches.
Bilbao was due to host three Group E matches – Spain v Sweden (June 14), Spain v Poland (June 19) and Slovakia v Spain (June 23). Plus a round of 16: 1B against 3A / D / E / F (June 27).
Those games were still very likely to stay in Spain and of course Sevilla now have those four games.
As for Dublin, they have played three Group E matches – Poland vs Slovakia (June 14), Sweden vs Slovakia (June 18) and Sweden vs Poland (June 23). These were given in St. Petersburg in addition to the other matches they were already scheduled to host.
Dublin also had a round of 16 game against 2F (June 29), which was moved to Wembley alongside their other matches, which include the semi-finals and the final.
Confirmation came on Friday that Dublin and Bilbao had been removed from the list of venues for the European Championship final this summer, due to attendance limit issues linked to COVID.
Euro 2020 will therefore begin without the involvement of St James Park at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome in 48 days, Turkey against Italy in the first match of the tournament on Friday 11 June 2021.
The final set will be played at Wembley 30 days later, on Sunday 11 July, with the two semi-finals also there (Wembley).
The 10 stadiums / countries now confirmed as venues for Euro 2020:
Amsterdam (Netherlands) – Johan Cruyff Arena
Baku (Azerbaijan) – Olympic Stadium
Bucharest (Romania) – Arena Nationala
Budapest (Hungary) – Puskas Arena
Copenhagen (Denmark) – Parken Stadium
Glasgow (Scotland) – Hampden Park
London (England) – Wembley Stadium
Munich (Germany) – Allianz Arena
Rome (Italy) – Stadio Olimpico
Saint Petersburg (Russia) – Krestovsky Stadium
With the possibility of Martin Dubravka playing for Slovakia at Euro 2020 at St James Park now gone, we just have to hope that players like Dubravka, Fraser, Krafth, Schar, and perhaps the odd other surprise, will be. fit and selected by their country and add extra interest to Euro 2020 for Newcastle fans.