UEFA Euro 2020
The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2020 or simply Euro 2020, is scheduled to be the 16th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men's football championship of Europe organised by the Union of European Football Associations.
The tournament, to be held in 12 cities in 12 UEFA countries, was originally scheduled to take place from 12 June to 12 July 2020. On 17 March 2020, UEFA announced that the tournament would be delayed by a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, and proposed it take place from 11 June to 11 July 2021, which was confirmed on 17 June 2020. The competition was postponed in order to reduce pressure on the public services in affected countries and to allow time for the completion of domestic leagues that had been suspended. The tournament will still retain the name "UEFA Euro 2020".
UEFA President Michel Platini said the tournament is being hosted in several nations as a "romantic" one-off event to celebrate the 60th "birthday" of the European Championship competition. Having the largest capacity of any of the stadiums entered for the competition, Wembley Stadium in London is scheduled to host the semi-finals and final for the second time, having done so before at the 1996 tournament in the stadium's former incarnation. The Stadio Olimpico in Rome was chosen to host the opening game, involving Turkey and hosts Italy.
Portugal are the defending champions, having won the 2016 competition. For the first time, the video assistant referee system will be used at the UEFA European Championship.
Bid processWhile some countries had already expressed an interest in bidding to host the tournament, then-UEFA President Michel Platini suggested at a press conference on 30 June 2012, a day before the UEFA Euro 2012 Final, that instead of having one host country, the tournament could be spread over "12 or 13 cities" across the continent. At the time, UEFA already used a similar system for the UEFA European Under-17 Championship's Elite Round, where each of the seven groups is hosted by a different country.
European format decisionOn 6 December 2012, UEFA announced the tournament would be held in multiple cities across Europe to mark the 60th anniversary of the tournament. The selection of the host cities did not guarantee an automatic qualifying berth to the national team of that country.
UEFA reasoned that the pan-European staging of the tournament was the logical decision at a time of financial difficulty across Europe. Reaction to UEFA's plan was mixed across Europe. Critics have cited the expanded format and its associated additional costs as the decisive factor for only one nation having put forward a serious bid.
Bidding venuesThe final list of bids was published by UEFA on 26 April 2014, with a decision on the hosts being made by the UEFA Executive Committee on 19 September 2014. There were two bids for the Finals Package and 19 bids for the Standard Package ; Brussels, marked with red, were initially selected but removed from the list of venues by UEFA on 7 December 2017 and the planned games there were moved to London.
|Baku||Olympic Stadium||68,700||Standard Package||Group stage and quarter-finals|
|Minsk||Dinamo Stadium||34,000||Standard Package||Rejected|
|Brussels||Eurostadium||50,000||Standard Package||Group stage and round of 16|
|Sofia||Vasil Levski National Stadium||43,000||Standard Package||Rejected|
|Copenhagen||Parken Stadium||38,065||Standard Package||Group stage and round of 16|
|London||Wembley Stadium||90,000||Finals Package||Semi-finals and final|
Group stage and round of 16
|Munich||Allianz Arena||75,000||Standard Package, Finals Package||Group stage and quarter-finals|
|Budapest||Puskás Aréna||56,000||Standard Package||Group stage and round of 16|
|Jerusalem||Teddy Stadium||34,000||Standard Package||Rejected|
|Rome||Stadio Olimpico||72,698||Standard Package||Group stage and quarter-finals|
|Skopje||Philip II Arena||33,460||Standard Package||Rejected|
|Amsterdam||Johan Cruyff Arena||54,990||Standard Package||Group stage and round of 16|
|Dublin||Aviva Stadium||51,700||Standard Package||Group stage and round of 16|
|Bucharest||Arena Națională||55,600||Standard Package||Group stage and round of 16|
|Saint Petersburg||Krestovsky Stadium||68,134||Standard Package||Group stage and quarter-finals|
|Glasgow||Hampden Park||52,063||Standard Package||Group stage and round of 16|
|Bilbao||San Mamés||53,332||Standard Package||Group stage and round of 16|
|Solna, Stockholm||Friends Arena||54,329||Standard Package||Eliminated|
|Cardiff||Millennium Stadium||74,500||Standard Package||Eliminated|
COVID-19 pandemic and postponementIn early 2020, the pandemic in Europe of COVID-19 raised concerns regarding its potential impact on players, staff and visitors to the twelve host cities of the tournament. At the UEFA Congress in early March, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said the organisation was confident that the situation could be dealt with, while general secretary Theodore Theodoridis stated that UEFA was maintaining contact with the World Health Organization and national governments regarding the coronavirus. The impact on football grew later that month, as numerous domestic and UEFA competition matches began taking place behind closed doors. By 13 March 2020, upcoming UEFA competition fixtures were postponed, while major European leagues were suspended, including the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League and Serie A.
UEFA held a videoconference on 17 March 2020 with representatives of its 55 member associations, along with a FIFPro representative and the boards of the European Club Association and European Leagues, to discuss the response to the outbreak for domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020. At the meeting, UEFA announced that the tournament would be postponed to the following year, proposing that it take place from 11 June to 11 July 2021. The postponement allowed for pressure to be reduced on the public services in affected countries, while also providing space in the calendar for domestic European leagues that had been suspended to complete their seasons. On the following day, the Bureau of the FIFA Council approved the date change in the FIFA International Match Calendar. As a result, the expanded FIFA Club World Cup, which was due to take place in June and July 2021, will be rescheduled. On 23 April 2020, UEFA confirmed that the tournament would still be known as UEFA Euro 2020.
In May 2020, Čeferin stated that in principle the tournament would take place in the twelve selected host cities. However, he did not rule out the possibility of reducing the number of cities, as three hosts were unsure if matches could be held under the new schedule. The tournament venues and match schedule was reviewed by the UEFA Executive Committee during their meeting on 17 June 2020. At the meeting, UEFA confirmed that all twelve original host venues would remain as hosts for the tournament in 2021.
QualificationThere was no automatic qualifying berth, and all 55 UEFA national teams, including the 12 national teams whose countries are scheduled to stage matches, had to compete in the qualifiers for the 24 places at the finals tournament. As the host cities were appointed by UEFA in September 2014, before the qualifiers, it is possible for the national teams from the host cities to fail to qualify for the finals tournament.
The qualifying draw was held on 2 December 2018 at the Convention Centre Dublin in Dublin, Republic of Ireland.
The main qualifying process started in March 2019, instead of immediately in September 2018 following the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and ended in November 2019. The format remains largely the same, although only 20 of the 24 spots for the finals tournament were decided from the main qualifying process, leaving four spots still to be decided. Following the admission of Kosovo to UEFA in May 2016, it was announced that the 55 members at the time would be drawn into ten groups after the completion of the UEFA Nations League, with the top two teams in each group qualifying. The qualifiers were played on double matchdays in March, June, September, October and November 2019.
With the creation of the UEFA Nations League starting in 2018, the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League was linked with Euro qualifying, providing teams another chance to qualify for the tournament. Four teams from each division that have not already qualified for the European Championship are to compete in the play-offs for each division. The winners of the play-offs for each division, to be decided by two one-off semi-finals and one one-off final, are scheduled to join the 20 teams that have already qualified for the tournament.
Qualified teamsOf the currently 20 teams that have qualified for the tournament, 17 are returning from the 2016 edition. Among them are Belgium and Italy, who both recorded flawless qualifying campaigns, defending European champions Portugal and world champions France, with Germany also qualifying for a record 13th straight European Championship. Finland will make their European Championship debut, having never previously qualified for a major tournament. The Netherlands and Denmark returned after missing out in 2016, with the Dutch featuring in a major tournament for the first time since 2014. For the first time, Austria and Wales reached successive European Championship tournaments. Greece, winners in 2004, were the only former champions that failed to qualify, missing their second straight European Championship and third consecutive major tournament.
Of the twelve host countries, seven managed to qualify directly for the tournament. Four will enter the play-offs, with a maximum of three being able to qualify, while Azerbaijan were entirely eliminated following the qualifying group stage.
VenuesThe venues were selected and announced by UEFA on 19 September 2014. However, the UEFA Executive Committee removed Brussels as a host city on 7 December 2017 due to delays with the building of the Eurostadium. The four matches initially scheduled to be held in Brussels were reallocated to London. Therefore, Wembley Stadium will host a total of seven matches, as London was already chosen to host the semi-finals and final of the tournament. On 7 December 2017, it was also announced that the opening match would take place at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, chosen ahead of Amsterdam, Glasgow and Saint Petersburg. UEFA decided that, should they qualify, the opening match would feature Italy.
Of the 12 selected cities and countries, 8 cities and 7 countries have never hosted a European Championship finals match before. Bilbao was not a venue when Spain hosted the 1964 European Nations' Cup, and none of Azerbaijan, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, Republic of Ireland, Russia, or Scotland has hosted the tournament previously. Of the 12 selected stadia, only 2 have hosted a European Championship match before: the Stadio Olimpico and the Johan Cruyff Arena. The original Wembley stadium hosted games and the final in UEFA Euro 1996, but although it stands on the same site, this is classified as a different stadium to the current Wembley Stadium.
Each city will host three group stage matches and one match in the round of 16 or quarter-finals. The match allocation for the 12 stadiums is as follows:
- Group stage, round of 16, semi-finals, and final: London
- Group stage and quarter-finals: Munich, Baku, Saint Petersburg, Rome
- Group stage and round of 16: Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Glasgow
- Group A: Rome and Baku
- Group B: Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen
- Group C: Amsterdam and Bucharest
- Group D: London and Glasgow
- Group E: Bilbao and Dublin
- Group F: Munich and Budapest
- If both host teams qualify directly or both advance to the play-offs, a draw will determine which team will play all three group stage matches at home, and which will play only two matches at home.
- If one host team qualifies directly, and the other advances to the play-offs or is eliminated entirely, the directly qualified host team will play all three group stage matches at home, and the other host, if qualified, will play only two.
- If one host team advances to the play-offs, and the other is eliminated entirely, the host team in the play-offs, if qualified, will play all three group stage matches at home.
- No action is necessary should both host teams fail to qualify.
Team base campsEach team chooses a "team base camp" for its stay between the matches. The teams will train and reside in these locations throughout the tournament, travelling to games staged away from their bases. Unlike previous tournaments, each team can set up their base camp anywhere due to the pan-European format, without any obligation of staying in any of the host countries.
The base camps selected by the twenty directly qualified teams were announced by UEFA on 27 January 2020.
|Seefeld in Tirol, Austria|
|St Andrews, Scotland|
|Currie, Edinburgh, Scotland|
|Burton upon Trent, England|
|Repino, Saint Petersburg, Russia|
|Coverciano, Florence, Italy|
|Portmarnock, Republic of Ireland|
|Las Rozas de Madrid, Spain|
|Maynooth, Republic of Ireland|
Final drawThe draw for the final tournament was held on 30 November 2019, 18:00 CET at Romexpo in Bucharest, Romania. The 24 teams were drawn into six groups of four. The identity of the four play-off teams were not known at the time of the draw and were identified as play-off winners A to D. Should there have been groups that could not be finalised at the time of the final tournament draw, another draw would have been held after the play-offs on 1 April 2020, but UEFA confirmed the additional draw was not necessary after the identity of the 20 directly qualified teams and the 16 play-offs teams was known.
The teams were seeded in accordance with the European Qualifiers overall ranking based on their results in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying. The following was the standard composition of the draw pots:
- Pot 1: Group winners ranked 1–6
- Pot 2: Group winners ranked 7–10, group runners-up ranked 1–2
- Pot 3: Group runners-up ranked 3–8
- Pot 4: Group runners-up ranked 9–10, play-off winners A–D
The draw started with Pot 1 and completed with Pot 4, from where a team was drawn and assigned to the first available group. The position in the group was then drawn. In the draw, the following conditions applied :
- Automatic group assignments: Host teams were automatically assigned to their group based on the host city pairings.
- Prohibited clashes: For political reasons, UEFA set pairs of teams that were considered prohibited clashes. In addition to being unable to be drawn into the same group, non-host teams were prevented from being drawn into a group hosted by a country they clash with, even should the host not qualify. Only one prohibited clash, Russia / Ukraine, applied during the group stage draw. Other prohibited clashes among qualified and play-off teams were Kosovo / Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo / Serbia, but the teams in these pairs were all in the play-offs and in Pot 4 for the draw, and would not be in the same group; Kosovo / Russia was also prohibited, but they also would not be in the same group due to play-off path pairings necessary for host allocation. However, these prohibited clashes are not excluded for the knockout phase.
Play-off path group allocation
Two balls were prepared containing the names of the two groups hosted by the teams in question. The first ball drawn determined the group that was allocated to Path A, with the exception of the host team of the second ball drawn winning Path A. In the draw, Group F was selected as the priority group, resulting in the following possible outcomes:
- Path A is won by Bulgaria, Hungary or Iceland: The winner of Path A will enter Group F, and the winner of Path D will enter Group C.
- Path A is won by Romania: Romania will enter Group C, and the winner of Path D will enter Group F.
Draw results and group fixturesThe draw resulted in the following groups :