Copenhagen faces fierce competition to co-host Euro 2020

With 13 places up for grabs, the Danish capital is one of 18 cities in contention that hasn’t hosted the European Championship before

Copenhagen has been confirmed on a UEFA shortlist to be one of the host cities of Euro 2020.

The Danish capital is one of 39 cities, representing 32 of the governing body’s members, from which UEFA will select 13 as hosts – a unique arrangement to mark the 60th anniversary of the European Championship. UEFA will make its final decision on 25 September 2014.

Twelve host cities will each host three group games and one knockout game, while a lucky 13th will host the semis and the final.

Copenhagen is one of three bidding cities from the Nordic region. The other cities are Helsinki in Finland and Solna in Sweden, which is part of Greater Stockholm. Norway, however, has declined to bid.

A possible advantage

Of the 32 countries in contention, Denmark is among 18 to never host or co-host the tournament. While Croatia and Serbia have never technically hosted it, their capitals Zagreb and Belgrade were host cities when Yugoslavia performed the honours in 1976.

Should UEFA exclusively award the hosting rights to countries that haven’t hosted before, it will discount Sweden and consider whether it makes logistical sense for Denmark to co-host a group with a nearby city. Helsinki, which is 882km from Copenhagen, would be the most likely choice.

Some crafty, some greedy

It is obvious from the submissions that several countries have chosen cities with the logistics in mind: Russia’s selection of St Petersburg, for example, although its hosting of the 2018 World Cup will work against it.

Several countries have chosen to submit two candidates – Italy, Poland, Ukraine and Portugal – while Spain has selected four, including both Barcelona and Madrid.

Euro 2020, like Euro 2016 in France, will follow the format of the 1986, 1990 and 1994 World Cups: 24 teams contesting six groups, followed by a 16-team knockout.    

All 39 bidding cities

The 18 cities with no prior experience of hosting European Championship are: Yerevan (Armenia), Baku (Azerbaijan), Minsk (Belarus), Sofia (Bulgaria), Prague (Czech Republic), Copenhagen (Denmark), Helsinki (Finland), Skopje (Macedonia), Athens (Greece), Budapest (Hungary), Jerusalem (Israel), Astana (Kazakhstan), Dublin (Republic of Ireland), Bucharest (Romania), Glasgow (Scotland), Cardiff (Wales), St Petersburg (Russia) and Istanbul (Turkey).

The other 21 are Zagreb (Croatia), Belgrade (Serbia), Lyon (France), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Brussels (Belgium), Basel (Switzerland), Solna (Sweden), Munich (Germany), London (England), Rome and Milan (Italy), Kiev and Donetsk (Ukraine), Warsaw and Chorzow (Poland), Lisbon and Oporto (Portugal) and Valencia, Bilbao, Barcelona and Madrid (Spain).