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St. Petersburg to Host Euro 2020 Football Matches

Boys wearing Russian national flags react after St. Petersburg was announced one of the 13 cities which will host matches at the Euro 2020 tournament to be played across the continent in St. Petersburg, September 19, 2014.

St. Petersburg has been selected as one of the 13 host cities of the 2020 European Championship, UEFA announced Friday.

Russia's second largest city will host a quarterfinal and three group stage matches at the Zenit Arena, a 67,000-seat stadium currently being built ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia.  

Some Western politicians have called for Russia to be stripped of the right to host the 2018 World Cup and other large sporting events, a notion that football authorities have persistently rejected.

"Football is football, and politics are politics," UEFA president Michel Platini said, the Kommersant newspaper reported. "I don't see why St. Petersburg should not have been able to contend to host Euro 2020 matches."

In honor of the tournament's 60th anniversary, UEFA decided in 2012 that the 2020 European Championship would be held in several European countries instead of the usual one or two host nations.  

Like St. Petersburg, Rome, Baku and Munich will each host a quarterfinal game and three group stage matches.

Two other Eastern European cities — Budapest and Bucharest — will also host elimination rounds and group stage matches. Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Brussels, Dublin and Glasgow will each host a handful of matches as well, while the tournament's final will be played at London's famed Wembley Stadium.

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