UEFA Confirm Final Destinations for 2013 Club Comps. CL Returns to Wembley
June 17, 2011
The expected was confirmed yesterday, June 16, when European soccer’s governing body UEFA announced that the Champions League final will return to Wembley Stadium in 2013, just two years after the London venue staged this year’s showpiece in which Barcelona overcame Manchester United to lift the most prestigious trophy in club soccer.
UEFA also confirmed that the 2013 UEFA Congress would take place in London, marking the 150th anniversary of the Football Association (FA).
In other news, at its meeting in Nyon, the UEFA Executive Committee also selected the Amsterdam ArenA in the Netherlands as the host stadium of the 2013 Europa League final and Eden Stadium in Prague, Czech Republic, as the venue of the 2013 Super Cup – the annual game staged between the winners of the Champions League and Europa League.
Munich will host next season’s Champions League final on May 19, 2012, 10 days after the Europa League final is staged at the National Stadium in Bucharest, Romania.
Platini explained that there were exceptional circumstances behind bringing the Champions League final back to North London in 2013, stating: “Founded in 1863 the Football Association (FA) is the oldest of all the national football associations and in 2013 it will celebrate its 150th anniversary. Given the exceptional nature of this historic moment in our beautiful game, and the fact that we will also celebrate 150 years of the Laws of the Game, we felt it was our duty at UEFA to help the FA celebrate in some special way.
“For this reason we have decided to return to England and specifically to Wembley Stadium – the home of the English FA – for the 2013 UEFA Champions League final. I think it is important to respect 150 years of the FA. We are gathered here because 150 years ago there were people in England who put football’s rules in place. I believe it is a real moment of respect – if we forget the past, we do not have a future.”
The decision to move the Super Cup final from its traditional home at the Stade Louis II in Monaco to Prague was to the delight of Rudolf Řepka, general secretary of the Football Association of the Czech Republic (ČMFS). The curtain-raiser to the European season has been held in Monaco every year since becoming a one-off match in 1998.
ČMFS president Ivan Hašek said: “Prague and our fans can enjoy a meeting between two top European sides – the UEFA Super Cup is a very attractive sporting event.”
General secretary Řepka added: “I’m glad we were at the birth of the new idea to play the UEFA Super Cup in various destinations. The fact Prague is such a nice city in the middle of Europe surely helped us.”