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Football at SPIEF: Forum to Address Preparations for Euro 2020

23 May 2019
Большой футбол на ПМЭФ: на Форуме обсудят подготовку к Евро-2020

St. Petersburg’s preparations for the UEFA Euro 2020 football matches will permeate the entire architecture of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which will be held on 6–8 June.

«The Euro 2020 Organizing Committee’s extensive participation in the Forum indicates that SPIEF is an important platform for the presentation of world-class sports projects. I am certain that the unique Euro 2020 exposition will generate great interest among the SPIEF participants, and the Football Park will be a place of true festivity for residents of St. Petersburg. In addition, the theme of the session ‘Football Within a Big City’ goes beyond the preparations for Euro 2020 — it’s a discussion moderated through sport — by developing territories and tourism, attracting investments, and maximizing the economic effect, which is fully consistent with the Forum’s objectives» Adviser to the Russian President and SPIEF Organizing Committee Executive Secretary Anton Kobyakov said.

Forum participants will have a chance to see the Henri Delaunay Trophy, the main cup awarded to the winners of the European Championships, at the Euro 2020 booth. The exposition will also feature a gold medal from the first ever European Championship — the Euro 1960 — which was won by the USSR team, and the Ballon d’Or presented to the legendary goalkeeper Lev Yashin in 1963 as the best player on the continent.

Special guests of the ‘Football Within a Big City’ session held as part of the SPIEF 2019 business programme will include global football stars, such as Christian Karembeu, a world and European champion from the French national team, Englishman Sol Campbell, a member of the Euro 1996 bronze winner team, and Alexander Kerzhakov, the top scorer in the history of Russian football and the Euro 2020 ambassador. The discussion will be moderated by the CEO of Euro 2020 Organizing Committee in Russia Alexey Sorokin.

Residents and guests of St. Petersburg will be able to get a taste of the atmosphere of Euro 2020 by visiting the Football Park, which is integrated into the SPIEF 2019 sporting programme. The Football Park will open on 6 June near the walls of the Peter and Paul Fortress, one of the main tourist attractions of the city on the Neva. Football fans on Hare Island can expect fun for the whole family with open-air games and workshops as well as interactive attractions and trivia games. Anyone who wants can try to score a penalty kick against Robokeeper, an incredibly agile robot goalkeeper, play football on a field measuring 30 by 15 metres, or learn more about Euro 2020 and the history of the tournament. Entrance to the Football Park and entertainment will be free.

In 2020 the European Football Championship will celebrate its 60th anniversary. For the first time in the tournament’s history, 12 cities from different countries of the continent will host the matches of the final round. This also marks the first time in history that Russia will be one of the Euro hosts. Three group matches and one quarterfinal will be held in St. Petersburg, which has already hosted games of the 2018 World Cup and the 2017 Confederations Cup.

Author photo: Dmitry Sadovnikov