UEFA Euro 2020
The newest section which will cover all the latest developments of the long-awaited championship "UEFA EURO 2021".
The UEFA European Football Championship, commonly known as the European Championship, is a football competition held between the national professional men's teams, which are members of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), defining the continental European champion. The competition was originally called the European Nations Cup, and then changed its name to the current one in 1968.
It has been developing every four years since 1960, with the exception of 2020, when it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe. UEFA Euro 2020, to be held in 12 cities in 12 UEFA countries, was scheduled to take place from June 12 to July 12, 2020. On March 17, 2020, UEFA announced that the tournament would be postponed by one year due to pandemic, and proposed that it take place from June 11 to July 11, 2021. The competition again retained the name "UEFA Euro 2020", and in it will be used for the first time the system VAR.
The UEFA Euro 2020 tournament is being organized in several countries to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its creation. Because it has the largest capacity, Wembley Stadium in London is scheduled to host the semi-finals and final, and this is happening for the second time, having done so before in the 1996 championship. Olympic Stadium in Rome was chosen to host the opening match, in which Turkey faces the locals, Italy.
The previous championship, held in France in 2016, was won by Portugal, who beat France in the final, after extra time, 1–0. Also, this final had an average of 284 million spectators, and is the second most watched game in the history of the European tournament, as the first place is held by the final of Euro 2012, which was watched by a global audience of about 300 million people.
The idea for a joint European football championship was initially proposed by the general secretary of the French Football Federation, Henri Delaunay, in 1927, but this materialized in 1958, three years after Delaunay's death. In honor of Delaunay, the award-winning trophy bears his name. The 1960 competition was held in France and there were only four teams competing in the finals, after the elimination phase, out of 17 participating in total. It was won by the Soviet Union, which defeated Yugoslavia 2–1 in a tense final in Paris. Of the 17 teams that entered the qualifying tournament, obvious absences were England, the Netherlands, West Germany and Italy.
In 1964, Spain hosted the next tournament, which had an increase in participants in the qualifying phase, with 29 countries. The locals (Spain) defeated the starters, the Soviet Union, 2–1 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid.
In 1980, the championship expanded with 8 teams competing in the finals, after the elimination phase, which was held in Italy. Then, in 1996, it expanded to 16 and was held in England. Finally expanding by 24 teams (as it does today), in 2016. In 2007, the Football Association of Ireland and the Scottish Football Association proposed expanding the tournament to 24 teams, which later, in September 2008, was also confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee. But out of 54 UEFA member associations, three countries, including England and Germany, opposed enlargement.
On 28 May 2010, UEFA announced that Euro 2016 would be hosted by France. UEFA Euro 2016 was the first to have 24 teams in the final. This was the third time France had hosted the tournament. Portugal, which qualified for the knockout stage (play-off), despite being ranked third in its group, won the championship by defeating the organizing team, France, which was the favorite. The match ended 1–0 in the final, thanks to a goal by Eder in the 109th minute. Cristiano Ronaldo, the world-famous Portuguese striker, was sent off due to an injury in the 25th minute. This was the first time Portugal won such an important competition.
At the 2020 tournament, three bids were proposed, including one from Turkey, one from the Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and one from Georgia and Azerbaijan. However, in December 2012, UEFA announced that Euro 2020 would be organized in several cities in different European countries, with the semifinals and finals to be played in London. The states were selected and announced by UEFA on 19 September 2014.
However, Brussels was removed from the list as a host city on 7 December 2017 due to delays in the construction of the Eurostadium. On March 17, 2020, UEFA announced that UEFA Euro 2020 would be delayed by another year due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and proposed that it take place from June 11 to July 11, 2021.
Trophy and UEFA
The Henri Delaunay trophy, which is awarded to the winning team of the European Championship, is named after Henri Delaunay, the first General Secretary of UEFA, who proposed the idea of a European Championship, but died five years before the tournament. first in 1960. His son, Pierre, took up the creation of the trophy. From the beginning of the competition, this trophy has been given to the winning team for them to hold for four years, until the next tournament. Previously, the trophy had the words "Coupe d'Europe", "Coupe Henri Delaunay" and "Championnat d'Europe" engraved on the front, while on the back was engraved a boy juggling the ball.
In 2008, the Henri Delaunay Trophy was remodeled to enlarge it, as this trophy was overshadowed by other UEFA trophies, such as the European Club Championship Cup. The new trophy, which is made of pure silver, now weighs 8 kilograms and is 60 centimeters high, being 2 kilograms heavier and 18 taller than the old one. The marble base that served as the base has been removed. The new silver base was enlarged to make it more durable. The names of the winning places that had appeared on the plaques were now engraved on the back of the trophy, under the word "Coupe Henri Delaunay", and were written in English, not French as in its predecessor. Surprisingly, the victorious state of 1972 and 1980, West Germany, is written as its successor state, "Germany".
The players and coaches of the winning team and the runner-up team receive gold and silver medals respectively. Each association competing in the final tournament receives a commemorative plaque. Each losing semi-finalist, as well as each finalist, receives a dedication plaque. Although there is no longer a play-off for third place, UEFA decided in the 2008 edition to award the semi-final losers (Turkey and Russia) bronze medals for the first time, and did the same in 2012, in which Germany and Portugal received bronze medals. However, UEFA decided that the semi-final losers would no longer receive medals from the 2016 edition onwards. Bronze medals were previously awarded to third-place play-off winners, the last of which was held in the 1980s.
Postponement of UEFA Euro 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic
In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe raised concerns about its potential impact on players, staff and tourists in the host cities of the tournament. At the UEFA Congress in early March, the UEFA president Alexander fereferin said the situation could be handled, while Secretary-General Theodore Theodoridis stated that UEFA was maintaining contacts with the World Health Organization and national governments regarding the coronavirus. But later, the situation worsened and many matches started to take place without fans. From 13 March 2020, UEFA's next qualifying matches were postponed, while major European leagues were suspended, including Bundesliga, The League, Ligue 1, Premier League dhe Serie A.
On 17 March 2020, UEFA held a videoconference with representatives of its 55 member associations and the boards of the European Association of European Clubs and Leagues, to discuss the outbreak of the pandemic and decide on the future of UEFA Euro 2020. During the meeting, UEFA announced that the tournament would be postponed to next year, proposing that it take place from June 11 to July 11, 2021. The postponement allowed the pressure on public services to be reduced in the affected countries, also creating space in the calendar of matches for the domestic European leagues, which had been suspended and had not completed their seasons. The next day, the FIFA Council Bureau approved the date change in the FIFA International Match Calendar. On 23 April 2020, UEFA confirmed that the tournament would still be known as UEFA Euro 2020.
In May 2020, Čeferin announced that UEFA Euro 2020 would take place in the twelve selected host cities. However, he did not rule out the possibility of reducing the number of cities, as the three organizing cities were not sure if the matches could be held according to the new schedule. Tournament venues and match schedules were reviewed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting on 17 June 2020. During the meeting, UEFA confirmed that the twelve original host countries would remain as such for the 2021 tournament. Schaeferin later stated, in October 2020, that it was still possible for the tournament to take place in less than the twelve host venues planned. The following month, UEFA stated that it "intends to hold UEFA Euro 2020 in the format and locations confirmed earlier this year and we are working closely with all host cities on the preparations".
It was also reported that each host country was discussing with UEFA and local health authorities whether the country could host matches at full capacity, between 100% and 50% capacity, with 33% capacity or no fans at all. Each host city was asked to design two or three plans from the four options. Restrictions may include allowing only local spectators to play. A final decision will be made on March 5, 2021.
In an interview during the New Year 2021, fereferin said, “Vaccination has started and I think we will be able to have a full statement over the summer. For now, the plan is to play in all twelve host countries. Of course, there are backup options in case a country has a problem. We are ready to organize matches in eleven, ten or nine cities… and even just in one place, if necessary.
However, I am 99,9 percent sure that we will have the European Championship in the twelve cities, as planned. " On 27 January 2021, UEFA met with host associations to discuss operational issues and reaffirmed that the tournament would be held in all twelve cities. The deadline for host countries to submit their stadium capacity plans was moved to early April. UEFA announced the next day that Daniel Koch, the former head of communicable diseases at the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health, would serve as UEFA Euro 2020 medical adviser on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the 24 teams that qualified for the tournament UEFA Euro 2020, 19 teams are returning from the 2016 edition. Among them are Belgium and Italy, who achieved perfect qualification (10 wins in 10 matches). Finland and Northern Macedonia will make their debut (first participation) in the European Championship, as they have never qualified before in this magnificent tournament.
Scotland, a tournament co-organizer, qualified for the prestigious competition for the first time since the 1998 World Cup, and the first European Championship in 1996. The Netherlands and Denmark return after not participating in 2016, with The Dutch are participating for the first time since the 2014 World Cup. Also, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Wales qualified for the European Championship for the first time. Greece, the 2004 champions, failed to qualify, losing their second consecutive championship. Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Romania failed to qualify, after a satisfactory performance in 2016.
Of the twelve host countries, seven managed to qualify directly for the tournament, while Hungary and Scotland qualified through the play-offs. The Republic of Ireland and Romania were eliminated in the play-off semifinals, and Azerbaijan was eliminated after the group stage qualifiers.
Table of qualified teams
|Teams||Qualification group||qualification date||Participation in previous tournaments|
|Belgium||Group I winner||10 October 2019||(1972, 1980, 1984, 2000, 2016)|
|Italy||Group J winner||12 October 2019||(1968, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004,2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Russia||Second place in group I||13 October 2019||(1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Poland||Group G winner||13 October 2019||(2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Ukraina||Group B winner||14 October 2019||(2012, 2016)|
|Spain||Group F winner||15 October 2019||(1964, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Franca||Group H winner||14 November 2019||(1960, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Turkey||Second place in group H||14 November 2019||(1996, 2000, 2008, 2016)|
|England||Group A winner||14 November 2019||(1968, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2012, 2016)|
|Czech Republic||Second place in group A||14 November 2019||(1960, 1976, 1980, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Finland||Second place in group J||15 November 2019||(has not participated before)|
|Sweden||Second place in group F||15 November 2019||(1992, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Croatia||Group E winner||16 November 2019||(1996, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Austria||Second place in group G||16 November 2019||(2008, 2016)|
|Hollanda||Second place in group C||16 November 2019||(1976, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Germany||Group C winner||16 November 2019||(1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Portugal||Second place in group B||17 November 2019||(1984, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016)|
|Switzerland||Group D winner||18 November 2019||(1996, 2004, 2008, 2016)|
|Danimarka||Second place in group D||18 November 2019||(1964, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2012)|
|Wales||Second place in group E||19 November 2019||(2016)|
|Northern Macedonia||Group D play-off winner||12 November 2020||(has not participated before)|
|Hungaria||Group A play-off winner||12 November 2020||(1964, 1972, 2016)|
|Slovakia||Group B play-off winner||12 November 2020||(2016)|
|scotch||Group C play-off winner||12 November 2020||(1992, 1996)|
The cheapest ticket costs 50 EUR and the most expensive reaches up to 900 EUR.
UEFA EURO 2021 will take place in 12 countries listed as follows:
- Saint Petersburg
|Johan Cruyff Arena||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Olympic Stadium||Rome, Italy|
|San Mamés||Bilbao, Spain|
|Baku National Stadium||Baku, Azerbaijan|
|Allianz Arena (Football stadium of Bayern Munich)||Munich, Germany|
|Parken Stadium||Copenhagen, Denmark|
|Puskás Arena||Budapest, Hungary|
|Aviva Stadium||Dublin, Ireland|
|Hampden Park||Glasgow, Scotland|
|National Arena||Bucuresti, Romania|
|Krestovsky Stadium||Saint Petersburg, Russia|
The championship starts on June 11 and ends on July 11, 2021.
The final will be held at Wembley Stadium.
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D||Group E||Group F|