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News & Comment

FA delighted at securing 2013 Champions League final

Football Association chairman David Bernstein has hailed UEFA's decision to mark the organisation's 150th anniversary by awarding the 2013 Champions League final to Wembley.

It means the stadium will host an unprecedented two finals in the space of three years after the success of the Barcelona v Manchester United showpiece last month.

Bernstein said: "We are absolutely delighted, It is most unusual for the final to be held in the same venue twice in three years.

"It was totally recognised that the Champions League final three weeks ago was an outstanding success. UEFA were absolutely delighted.

"Wembley really came of age that weekend. From a great stadium that was perceived as a little bit of a problem in some ways, it really broke through and is now, I believe, being looked at as a national asset.

"It was very positive financially, of course it was.

"It wasn't just the Champions League final but converting it for the Championship play-off two days later was a tremendous achievement from a great group of people."

UEFA's Congress in the same year will take place in London in the build-up to final, the European body's president Michel Platini announced today.

There had been fears that the FA's decision to oppose UEFA and try to block Sepp Blatter's election as FIFA president would lead to a backlash, but the decisions were passed unanimously by UEFA's executive committee meeting in Nyon, Switzerland.

Platini told a news conference: "This is to celebrate what is a great event for the English FA."

It will be the seventh time that Wembley has hosted the Champions League or European Cup final, the most of any venue.

UEFA also announced the 2013 Europa League final will be held at the Amsterdam ArenA. There will also be a change to the venue for the UEFA Super Cup, the match between the Champions League and Europa League winners, which for years has been held in Monaco. In 2013 it will be held in Prague.

Meanwhile, UEFA announced Toulouse and Saint Etienne will become host cities for Euro 2016 in France, increasing the number to 11.

The number of countries involved will be 24 instead of 16, and the number of matches will increase from 31 to 51.