HELSINKI: Finland has withdrawn Helsinki’s bid to become one of the host cities for the climactic rounds of Euro 2020 to focus on attracting other events.

After talks with European governing body UEFA the Finnish association (SPL) has decided that a redeveloped Olympic Stadium in the Finnish capital will not be suitable for the European Championships.

Instead, the SPL is now targeting other football tournaments, such as the 2019 edition of the UEFA Supercup, the annual meeting of the Champions League and Europa League winners.

SPL president Pertti Alaja said: “We have conducted discussions with Uefa about the requirements for a Euro 2020 bid, and after them have drawn the conclusion to withdraw.

“For us it is of paramount importance that the national team stadium is not only functional, but also a place where we can arrange other top international events. We in Helsinki are known for reliable and organised events, which is one of our great strengths.”

UEFA said last September that 32 of its member associations met the deadline to state their interest in hosting games during Euro 2020, which will be staged in 13 cities across the continent.

The matches will be split into 13 different packages, with 12 standard packages, including three group matches and one knockout round (round of 16 or quarter-final), and one package for the semi-finals and the final.

The majority of associations put forward one city as their contender for Euro 2020 with the exception of Spain (Bilbao and Madrid), Italy (Milan and Rome), Poland (Chorzow and Warsaw), Portugal (Lisbon and Porto) and Ukraine (Donetsk and Kyiv). The other cities to meet the deadline were: Armenia (Yerevan), Azerbaijan (Baku), Belarus (Minsk), Belgium (Brussels), Bulgaria (Sofia), Croatia (Zagreb), Czech Republic (Prague), Denmark (Copenhagen), England (London), Finland (Helsinki), France (Lyon), FYR Macedonia (Skopje), Germany (Munich), Greece (Athens), Hungary (Budapest), Israel (Jerusalem), Kazakhstan (Astana), Netherlands (Amsterdam), Ireland (Dublin), Romania (Bucharest), Russia (St Petersburg), Scotland (Glasgow), Serbia (Belgrade), Sweden (Solna), Switzerland (Basel), Turkey (Istanbul) and Wales (Cardiff).

Candidates must submit their final bid dossier by April 25. The appointment of the host cities by the Uefa Executive Committee will take place on September 25.


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