"St Petersburg is a remarkable city – I am sure it will be a wonderful host," said UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin as the Russian football hotbed unveiled its UEFA EURO 2020 host city logo.
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As one of the cradles of Russian football, St Petersburg will be a proud and passionate host of four matches at UEFA EURO 2020, and launched its host city logo on Thursday.
On the day that the Russian Football Union (RFS) celebrated its 105th birthday, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin joined association representatives, St Petersburg's governor Georgi Poltavchenko and local dignitaries at the ceremony, which took place at the historical and impressive First Cadet Corps Manege building in the heart of Russia's northern capital.
Aleksander Čeferin is keenly anticipating the tournament in three years' time. "2020 marks the 60th anniversary of the European Championship," he said, "and this will be a special tournament.
"Matches will extend throughout Europe – from north to south, and from west to east. It will be a true festival of friendship. St Petersburg is a remarkable city – I am sure that it will be a wonderful host."
St Petersburg is the last of the 12 UEFA EURO 2020 host cities to unveil its host city logo, and three group stage matches and a quarter-final will take place at the city's 67,800-seater stadium.
The EURO visual identity for 2020 sees each of the 12 host city logos feature a single bridge from the city in question. The bridges show how football also serves as a bridge between geographical and social divides, and unites nations and fans.
The iconic Palace Bridge is the key element of St Petersburg's host city logo, and attracts millions of tourists each year – particularly when it is lit up at night.
"St Petersburg is a birthplace of Russian football," said RFS president Vitaly Mutko. "The very first amateur clubs were founded here. I'm looking forward to the festival of football in 2020."
Governor Georgi Poltavchenko added: "St Petersburg is proud to be called a football city. Our city lives and breathes football. We are preparing other infrastructure, and hope that we will be hosts of the highest quality."