UEFA could stage this summer’s European Championship in four countries rather than 12 if their preferred model is impractical due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

England would definitely be one of the final four as Wembley is set to host the semi-finals and final, and the UK’s vaccination programme is the most advanced in Europe.

Portugal, Germany and Russia are also being considered. After a meeting on Wednesday, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin reaffirmed the desire for matches to take place in 12 cities and extended the deadline for hosts to confirm their staging arrangements until April.

Alexander Ceferin, UEFA president, reiterated his desire to hold Euro 2020 over 12 countries

Alexander Ceferin, UEFA president, reiterated his desire to hold Euro 2020 over 12 countries

But he also acknowledged the need for flexibility. UEFA are leaning towards a four-city model as a contingency rather than a ‘super-hub’ in one country, such as that used in Lisbon to finish last season’s Champions League.

All 12 host cities told UEFA this week they remain committed to staging matches, but insiders claim there is an element of brinkmanship, as federations would forfeit any right to compensation if they withdrew from the tournament. 

Baku and Bucharest are understood to be the venues least enthusiastic about going ahead without fans, but will wait for UEFA to make the decision for them in April.

UEFA have also discussed using only one host country — with England the favourite at one stage last year — but want to maintain the pan-European element and minimise their compensation bill. 

UEFA could stage this summer's European Championship in four countries however - England would definitely be one of the final four as Wembley is set to host the semi-finals and final

UEFA could stage this summer’s European Championship in four countries however – England would definitely be one of the final four as Wembley is set to host the semi-finals and final