EURO 2020: Everything you need to know about the great festival of European football

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Euro 2020 was supposed to be unlike any other.

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first European Cup of Nations in 1960, then-UEFA President Michel Platini had proposed holding a “romantic” edition of the competition in 2020.

Instead of one or two host countries, the tournament would be played in 12 European cities during the months of June and July.

But then COVID arrived and the tournament was postponed for a year. However, it will keep the 2020 name.

Which countries participate in Euro 2020?

24 nations will participate, including the winner of the last Euro 2016, Portugal, and the world champion, France.

Two teams make their debut in a great soccer tournament: Finland and North Macedonia.

Of the eleven countries that host matches, seven – Denmark, England, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Russia and Spain – have qualified for the tournament.

Two others – Hungary and Scotland – made it through the playoffs, while Romania and Azerbaijan were left out.

Greece, winner of Euro 2004, is the only previous champion not to compete in this summer’s tournament.

Group A – Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland

B Group – Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia

Group C – Holland, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia

Group D – England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic

Group E – Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia

Group F – Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany

How does the Euro 2020 tournament work?

In the initial group stage, the four teams face each other.

The winners and runners-up of each group, as well as the four best third-parties, will advance to the last 16 countries remaining in the tournament.

This is the knockout phase. The winner goes to the quarterfinals or to the last eight teams. The semi-finals will then be played before the final to be held on July 11.

Unlike the World Cup, there has not been a match for third place in the Euro since 1984, in which the two losers of the semi-finals meet.

Who are the favorites to win Euro 2020?

World champion France is the favorite to win their second major tournament in a row and starts as a 9/2 favorite, according to Oddschecker.

They are closely followed by England (5/1), who have not reached a grand final since 1966, and Belgium (6/1), who currently occupy the top spot in the FIFA world rankings.

2014 world champion Germany is also one of the favorites, at 7/1. The champion of Euro 2012, Spain, is 15/2, while the current champion, Portugal, is 8/1 to revalidate her title.

Favorites to win Euro 2020 (Oddschecker, 06/03/21, 20:00 CET):

France 9/2 (favorite)

England 5/1

Belgium 6/1

Germany 7/1

Spain 2/15

Portugal 8/1

Italy 11/1

Netherlands 12/1

How much do teams earn for participating in Euro 2020?

Each of the 24 teams will receive a participation fee of 9.25 million euros, while the winner of the final – and the Henri Delaunay Trophy – can win a maximum of 34 million euros.

Have new rules been introduced for Euro 2020?

A notable change from previous Euro Cups is the size of the squads allowed this summer.

On 4 May, the UEFA Executive Committee confirmed that nations will be able to expand their rosters from 23 to 26 players. In addition, teams may make five substitutions in knockout phase matches that continue until overtime.

Of course, there are rules in case teams register positive cases of coronavirus.

If local health officials advise a group of players from one country to isolate themselves, Matches will continue as long as a team can have at least 13 players, including a goalkeeper.

Matches will only be rescheduled if teams cannot count on this specific number, and will be played within 48 hours if possible. But if the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body considers that the match cannot be rescheduled, the team responsible for not complying with the game will lose and lose 3-0.

The tournament will also feature referees from South America, including Argentine Fernando Rapallini, for the first time as part of a UEFA exchange program.

For her part, the French Stéphanie Frappart will be the first female referee at a European Championship in her role as support referee.

Euro 2020 will also be the first time that the championship uses the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system.

What are the 11 venues for Euro 2020 across Europe?

The selection and confirmation of the venues for Euro 2020 has been possibly the biggest headache for UEFA, the governing body of European football.

UEFA had initially proposed 13 venues. It was then reduced to a dozen in 2017 following delays in the construction of the Brussels Eurostadium.

But, as the COVID-19 pandemic approached, further thought was required as some of the selected stadiums reported that they could not guarantee that fans would be able to attend matches.

In February, the Israel Football Association initially offered to help and host some of the matches due to the country’s high vaccination rates. However, UEFA reiterated its commitment to the cities originally chosen.

However, Dublin’s Aviva Stadium was subsequently removed from the host list in April after failing to guarantee fan attendance, and Spain also moved its matches from San Mamés in Bilbao to the La Cartuja Stadium in Seville.

Russia’s Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg, meanwhile, will now host all three group stage matches instead of Dublin.

UEFA was also concerned that the matches would be played in Baku (Azerbaijan) due to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia in 2020, but the restrictions were lifted in December following a ceasefire agreement between the two countries.

The semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 will be played at Wembley Stadium in London, which, with 90,000 spectators, has the largest capacity among the 11 venues.

For its part, the opening match between Turkey and Italy, on June 11, will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

What are the conditions foreseen for the fans?

The official slogan for this summer’s tournament is “Live It. For Real”, designed to encourage fans to watch the tournament matches live across Europe.

And while warnings against international travel remain in force in some host countries, UEFA has reiterated that some fans will be able to cheer on their nation in person.

On April 9, eight of the eleven host cities announced their plans to spectators, they had stadium capacity between 22% and 100%.

The Hungarian capital, Budapest, it has been proposed to reach full capacity in matches, although there will continue to be strict entry requirements at Puskás Aréna.

Saint Petersburg and Baku They have also confirmed that they will allow a capacity of 50%.

But UEFA has also reiterated that ticket holders will not be exempt from international travel restrictions during the European Championship.