UEFA confirms 13-venue Euro 2020

    UEFA president Michel Platini has been the driving force behind the new format for Euro 2020.

    Story highlights

    • Euro 2020 to be staged at 13 different venues
    • UEFA confirms its decision to adopt new format
    • UEFA president Michel Platini floated the idea last month
    • 10 cities confirmed as venues for Euro 2016 in France
    The European Championships in 2020 will break new ground by being staged in 13 different venues across the continent, UEFA confirmed Friday.
    Europe's governing body first revealed the idea last month, but it needed a meeting of its executive committee in Nyon, Switzerland to agree the package.
    Being labeled the "Euro for Europe", the 24-team tournament will see the group stages and the subsequent last 16 and quarterfinal knock out matches played in 12 different countries.
    The semifinals and final will be held at the same venue.
    Previous championships have been staged in a maximum of two countries, with Ukraine and Poland hosting Euro 2012, won by Spain.
    Euro 2016 in France will be the first with an expanded number of teams from 16 to 24.
    UEFA also announced the 10 stadiums for that tournament Friday, including the Stade de France in Paris
    The 2020 tournament will mark the 60th anniversary of the first edition of Europe's premier international competition.
    Under the new format, UEFA has promised to take traveling distances into account when allocating countries who have been selected as hosts to groups.
    Bids to stage matches must be put forward by September this year, with the winners announced in September 2014.
    Venues for the semis and final must be able to hold at least 70,000 spectators, UEFA said, but smaller 30,000-seater stadiums will be considered for group matches.
    UEFA president Michel Platini made a stout defense of his plans when they were first floated.
    "Countries that would never have had the chance to host the Euros will be able to participate in this festival of football," he said.
    "The situation is difficult in Europe. It's hard to ask one country to invest in 10 stadiums like in Ukraine. There's also the idea of belonging to a European country. It's a great idea to mark the anniversary."
    Platini also said that the tournament will return to its traditional format for 2024.