Wembley Stadium’s position as one of the world’s great stadiums was confirmed on Friday when it was selected to host the finale of UEFA EURO 2020.
In six years’ time the ‘Euro for Europe’ will reach its conclusion under the arch, where both semi-finals and the Final are to take place.
And after hearing the good news in Geneva on Friday lunchtime, FA Chairman Greg Dyke said the award will have a positive effect on all of English football.
He said: “On behalf of everyone at The FA and our President HRH The Duke of Cambridge, I am delighted Wembley Stadium and London have been awarded the right to stage the semi-finals and Final of UEFA EURO 2020.
“It will be a great honour to be part of what will surely be a superb celebration of 60 years of the UEFA European Championship.
“My thanks go to all our partners in the bid – particularly the Government, Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London – and of course to UEFA President Michel Platini and the UEFA Executive Committee. I also congratulate all of the other successful bidding nations.”
Wembley saw off a strong bid from Munich and its Allianz Arena to win the race to host EURO 2020’s conclusion and host a week of thrilling tournament football.
Dyke added: “This bidding process was open to more than 50 UEFA countries so for Wembley to be ultimately recognised in this way is testament to a lot of hard work behind the scenes.
“Making UEFA EURO 2020 a tournament that is open and inclusive was a huge focus”
Greg Dyke FA Chairman
“We are proud of The FA’s bid and particularly its strong commitment to our ‘football for everyone’ goal. Making UEFA EURO 2020 a tournament that is open and inclusive was a huge focus.
“The bid was about working with UEFA to celebrate young people, develop our grassroots volunteers and demonstrate the determination for all England teams, men’s and women’s, to compete at the top level.
“This was recognised by the leaders of all three political parties, the Mayor of London, the Sports Minister and everyone who contributed in putting the bid together.
“Having seen the impact that a home Olympic Games had on young sportsmen and women in our country, I hope that UEFA EURO 2020 serves as a similar incentive for our most promising players to realise their full potential over the next six years.”
Held every four years, the UEFA European Championship will be played as a 'EURO for Europe' in summer 2020 with 13 different cities staging matches across the continent as part of celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the competition.
In all 24 nations will take part in the finals following a qualifying programme. England previously hosted the 1996 edition, when they reached the semi-finals before losing on penalties to Germany at Wembley.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is absolutely honoured to have been selected to host the semi-finals and Final of UEFA EURO 2020.
“I know that Wembley Stadium, the city and our passionate army of football fans will put on an extraordinary and spectacular event.
“This prestigious victory further underlines London’s status as an international power house for big sporting events with the iconic venues, city infrastructure and a warm welcome that’s world-beating.”
Minister for Sport Helen Grant also expressed her delight at the news: “I am thrilled that our bid has been successful and that Wembley will host the final games of Euro 2020.
“I am sure it will be a fantastic tournament and that we will put on a fitting climax to the competition.
“UEFA’s decision cements our reputation as one of the leading countries in the world for putting on major sporting events.
“I pay tribute to all those who worked so hard for this - at The FA, GLA and Government, in what was a real team effort.
“Not only will it give us a great opportunity to promote the inclusivity of football but the thought of playing in the finals of such a major tournament on home soil is one that should excite every young England player.”