UEFA postpones the EURO 2020 by 12 months. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2021 European Championship
You don’t need to be a soccer fan to know that the UEFA EURO Championship is the most prestigious international soccer tournament in the world (after the FIFA World Cup, that is). The tournament sees the finest football nations across Europe compete for the trophy, once every four years.
Founded in 1960, this year’s 2020 edition was supposed to mark the 60th anniversary of the competition. And for this occasion, instead of playing in one stadium as usual, the matches were to be played in 12 different stadiums across 12 different European countries, with the semi-finals and finals to be held at Wembley Stadium in London. However, due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Euro 2020 has been postponed to summer 2021.
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin said: “Football is an uplifting and powerful force in society. The thought of celebrating a pan-European festival of football in empty stadiums, with deserted fan zones while the continent sits at home in isolation, is a joyless one and one we could not accept to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the competition.”
UEFA EURO 2020 was expected to take place from June 12th to July 12th in 12 European cities: Rome, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Glasgow, Baku, Munich, London and St. Petersburg. Bruxelles was also supposed to make the cut but the stadium is still under construction. The new unofficial dates proposed by UEFA for 2021 are June 11 to July 11, 2021. UEFA wants to reassure existing ticket buyers and hospitality customers that if they are unable to participate at the tournament in 2021, their tickets and packages will be fully refunded.
Rome still to inaugurate the 2021 UEFA EURO Championship with opening match
In any case, the tournament will still inaugurate in Rome. Rome will also host the Euro 2021 opening concert inside the Colosseum, featuring international musicians, the day before.
From June 11th till June 23rd, the group stages will run, where up to four matches per day will take place. Each group is made up of four teams and the top two teams in each group, in addition to the four best runners-up, will progress to the knockout stage.
Twenty-four are the national teams qualified for the 2021 European Championship: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and Wales, plus four play-off winners to be announced in June 2020 (instead of March 2020 as originally planned).
Just as the Rome inauguration remains unvaried, the other matches will still take place in the same order and with the same teams already established in the Final Draw in Bucharest last November.
Group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland (matches in Rome and Baku)
Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia (matches in Amsterdam and Bucharest)
Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, Play-off winner D (A)* (matches in St. Petersburg and Copenaghen)
Group D: England, Croatia, Play-off winner C, Czech Republic (matches in London and Glasgow)
Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, Play-off winner B (matches in Bilbao and Dublin)
Group F: Play-off winner A (D)*, Portugal, France, Germany (matches in Munich and Budapest)
*Play-off Winner A is allocated to Group F and Play-off Winner D to Group C. If Romania qualify as Path A winners, they will play in Group C and Play-off Winner D will be switched to Group F. The play-off winners will be known in June 2020 (instead of March 2020 as originally planned).
Matches played in Rome at the Stadio Olimpico
Group A: Turkey v Italy (21:00, local time)
Group A: Italy v Switzerland (21:00, local time)
Group A: Italy v Wales (18:00, local time)
QF4: Winner 8 v Winner 7 (21:00, local time)
UEFA EURO 2021 Group Stages
Group A: Turkey v Italy (21:00, Rome)
Group A: Wales v Switzerland (15:00, Baku)
Group B: Denmark v Finland (18:00, Copenhagen)
Group B: Belgium v Russia (21:00, St Petersburg)
Group D: England v Croatia (15:00 Wembley)
Group C: Austria v Play-off winner D or A (18:00, Bucharest)
Group C: Netherlands v Ukraine (21:00, Amsterdam)
Group D: Play-off winner C v Czech Republic (15:00, Glasgow)
Group E: Poland v Play-off winner B (18:00, Dublin)
Group E: Spain v Sweden (21:00, Bilbao)
Group F: Play-off winner A or D v Portugal (18:00, Budapest)
Group F: France v Germany (21:00, Munich)
Group B: Finland v Russia (15:00, St Petersburg)
Group A: Turkey v Wales (18:00, Baku)
Group A: Italy v Switzerland (21:00, Rome)
Group C: Ukraine v Play-off winner D or A (15:00, Bucharest)
Group B: Denmark v Belgium (18:00, Copenhagen)
Group C: Netherlands v Austria (21:00, Amsterdam)
Group E: Sweden v Play-off winner B (15:00, Dublin)
Group D: Croatia v Czech Republic (18:00, Glasgow)
Group D: England v Play-off winner C (21:00, London)
Group F: Play-off winner A or D v France (15:00, Budapest)
Group F: Portugal v Germany (18:00, Munich)
Group E: Spain v Poland (21:00, Bilbao)
Group A: Italy v Wales (18:00, Rome)
Group A: Switzerland v Turkey (18:00, Baku)
Group C: Play-off winner D or A v Netherlands (18:00, Amsterdam)
Group C: Ukraine v Austria (18:00, Bucharest)
Group B: Russia v Denmark (21:00, Copenhagen)
Group B: Finland v Belgium (21:00, St Petersburg)
Group D: Czech Republic v England (21:00, London)
Group D: Croatia v Play-off winner C (21:00, Glasgow)
Group E: Play-off winner B v Spain (18:00, Bilbao)
Group E: Sweden v Poland (18:00, Dublin)
Group F: Germany v Play-off winner A or D (21:00, Munich)
Group F: Portugal v France (21:00, Budapest)
The top two teams in each group plus the four best third-placed teams will go through to the knockout stage.
UEFA EURO 2021 Knockout Phase
Round of 16
1: 2A v 2B (18:00, Amsterdam)
2: 1A v 2C (21:00, London)
3: 1C v 3D/E/F (18:00, Budapest)
4: 1B v 3A/D/E/F (21:00, Bilbao)
5: 2D v 2E (18:00, Copenhagen)
6: 1F v 3A/B/C (21:00, Bucharest)
7: 1D v 2F (18:00, Dublin)
8: 1E v 3A/B/C/D (21:00. Glasgow)
QF1: Winner 6 v Winner 5 (18:00, Saint Petersburg)
QF2: Winner 4 v Winner 2 (21:00, Munich)
QF3: Winner 1 v Winner 3 (18:00, Baku)
QF4: Winner 8 v Winner 7 (21:00, Rome)
SF1: Winner QF1 v Winner QF2 (21:00, London)
SF2: Winner QF4 v Winner QF3 (21:00, London)
Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 (21:00, London)
The Azzurri: a team to watch
From the international shame of not being qualified in the FIFA World Cup in 2018, the Azzurri have become a team to watch in the 2021 European Championship. With a perfect score of 10 wins and no losses nor draws during the EURO qualifications, scoring 36 goals and only conceding 4, Italy had the highest goal difference in all the tournament qualifications, second only to the Belgian national team. In the past two years the Azzurri have revolutionised their game, thanks to a new core of young, hungry and talented players, especially in the mid-field and offence where they show a great depth of talent. The national team has changed from a classic Italian style of defence and counter attack to a more elaborate and technical style thanks to the new coach, Roberto Mancini, who he himself was one of the most talented players of his generation.
UEFA EURO 2021
Unofficial dates: June 11 – July 11