EURO 2020: Dublin paired with Bilbao

UEFA have paired Dublin with Bilbao as host city partners following a draw for host city pairings in Nyon, Switzerland.

Four matches will be played in Aviva Stadium in a unique version of the tournament that will be spread across 12 different countries and represents the biggest sporting event to be hosted in Ireland.

In a UEFA Executive Committee meeting, attended by FAI CEO John Delaney, it was also announced that the four matches originally scheduled to be held in Brussels will now be allocated to Wembley Stadium, London.

It was also confirmed that the opening match of the tournament will be played in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

The host city pairings were decided by means of a random draw – from six different lists of city pairings established on the basis on sporting strength and geographical considerations – and are as follows:

  • Group A: Rome and Baku
  • Group B: Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen
  • Group C: Amsterdam and Bucharest
  • Group D: London and Glasgow
  • Group E: Bilbao and Dublin
  • Group F: Munich and Budapest

Each qualified host country will play a minimum of two matches at home in the group stage – the draw of which will take place in Dublin’s Convention Centre on December 2, 2018.

FAI CEO John Delaney said: “I would like to welcome the decision by UEFA that Dublin has been paired with the great city of Bilbao for UEFA EURO 2020.

“Today’s host city pairings marks an exciting chapter in the build-up to the European Championships, which will see Dublin and Ireland hosting the biggest ever sporting event to take place in our country.

“A huge amount of work has gone into preparation for the tournament and we are making enormous progress in preparing the Aviva Stadium for when it becomes a focus for worldwide attention during this prestigious competition.

“I look forward to welcoming our friends from Bilbao to Dublin where we can build a strong partnership working together to ensure the very best organisational and sporting structures are in place for the summer of 2020.”

Welcoming the news, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Ardmheara Michael McDonncha, said: “On behalf of the citizens of Dublin, I’m delighted by UEFA’s decision to pair Dublin with Bilbao for EURO 2020.

“These two great cities will have an opportunity to work together to play a major role in this unique pan-European sporting event. As a host city, Dublin will be able to showcase itself to the world and will provide visitors with a festival of football in June 2020.” 

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, said: “I am delighted that Dublin has been paired with Bilbao. It is also an opportunity for both cities to work together to contribute to a great tournament in 2020.

“The pairing of cities gives supporters the first glimpse of what the Republic of Ireland’s group in EURO 2020 would look like if we qualified and it is already a very appealing prospect. I am really looking forward to welcoming thousands of football supporters to Dublin in 2020.”

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, said: “Dublin has now been paired with Bilbao and we can really look forward to a great tournament in 2020.

“I am also looking forward to December 2nd, 2018 when Dublin will host delegates and football managers from across Europe as they come to participate at the tournament draw in Dublin’s Convention Centre, where the groups for the opening stages of the competition will be decided.”