Trip to Bilbao on the agenda if Ireland reach Euro 2020


Brussels has lost its 2020 European Championship games to London, with Wembley Stadium picked by UEFA on Thursday to stage an additional four games on top of the semifinals and final.

Cardiff's Principality Stadium and Stockholm's Friends Arena - the venues for last season's finals of the Champions League and Europa League, respectively - had hoped to pick up Brussels' games.

It's an honour to be one of the 12 nations that will play a part in this prestigious "EURO for Europe" tournament and I would like to thank the UEFA Executive Committee for giving us the opportunity to stage these games.

"Experts from (our) administration felt it was a high risk for UEFA to wait".

The building of a new Brussels stadium for the tournament had run into delays involving the applications for construction and environmental permits. "If the answer had been no, it would have been a problem for us to find a new stadium".

Today UEFA has announced that the opening match will be played at the Olimpico, with the Group A matches to be paired between Rome and Baku.

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In Nyon, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said the decision of UEFA's executive committee had been unanimous.

However they said UEFA's decision "does not necessarily signify the end of the stadium project".

UEFA also divided host cities into pairs, with each pair sharing matches in a given group.

We know what you're thinking, 'we've only qualified for the Euros three times ('88, '12, '16)' but the new 24 team format means it's now easier for Ireland to get through the group stages as we found out in Euro 2016.

A conflict between the first two broke out in 2014 that resulted in Russian Federation annexing Crimea from Ukraine, while the second two fought a war in the early 1990s that never resulted in a peace treaty.