UEFA has denied planning to hold Euro 2020in Russia amid the ongoing restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 24-team tournament was originally due to be heldacross 12 different countries, with Bilbao,Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg all set to hostmatches.

However, reports of a potential change to that format have surfaced thisweek, with UEFA said to be drawing up a proposal to stage the competition in Russia, which hasemerged as the leading candidateto host after successfully staging the 2018 World Cup finals.

Fears over continent-wide travel restrictions and quarantinerules are thought to be behind the push for reform, with several of the countries scheduled to stage games currently in lockdown as steps to contain the spread of coronavirus continue to be taken.

However, UEFA has insisted that a deviation from the pre-ordained format for Euro 2020is not being considered, and that plans for the tournament to go ahead include welcoming supporters back into stadiums.

“UEFA’s efforts are currently focused on planning a tournament with fans in all 12 venues,” a UEFA spokesperson told SID.

The European Championship is scheduled to kick off on June 11, 2021, with the first group-stage match between Italy and Turkey set to take place atStadio Olimpico in Rome.

The final, meanwhile, is due to be held at Wembley Stadium in London onJuly 11, 2021, as UEFA celebrates the 60th anniversary of the competition.

Portugal picked up the trophy for the first time in their history back in 2016, beating France 1-0 after extra time in the showpiece event.

Both sides will be among the favourites to win the tournament alongside the likes of Germany, Italy, Spain, Belgium and England, with the UEFA Nations League set to keep all of the countries in question busy until the action begins next year.

Source : goal.com

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