The UEFA European Football Championship, also commonly known as the UEFA Euros, is the international competition participated by senior men’s national teams of Europe. The tournament is conducted by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA) and determines the champion of Europe. The champion of the tournament qualifies for the FIFA Confederations Cup.
The tournament has always been scheduled between World Cup tournaments in the even-numbered years. Originally, the tournament was called as European Nations’ Cup. The tournament was renamed to its current name in 1968.
Every member nation of the UEFA, except the host nation, has to go through a qualifying process to participate in the Championship. Till now, 15 different countries have won the Championship at least once. Germany and Spain top the list with 3 titles each, France has won it twice, while Soviet Union, Italy, Netherlands, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Denmark, and Portugal have won one title each.
The competition has been held every four years since it was conducted in 1960 in France for the first time. The exception was the year 2020 in which the tournament had to be postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The UEFA Euro 2020 will be now held in 2021 beginning 11th June and the final of the tournament will be played at Wembley Stadium, London, on 11th July.
The UEFA Euro 2020 will be hosted by 11 different cities across Europe, a first in the tournament’s history. The decision to host different cities was taken by the UEFA in 2012 to mark the 60th anniversary of the tournament. The then UEFA President Michel Platini had said it was a ‘romantic’ one-off event to mark the anniversary.
The last edition of the tournament was held in France. Portugal won its first major international trophy after defeating the host nation 1-0 at Stade de France in Saint-Denis. The final match was watched by 284 million viewers globally, which is the second most-watched game in European tournament’s history.
History of the UEFA European Championship
French Football Federation's secretary-general Henri Delaunay had proposed the idea of a European tournament for the first time in 1927. However, the tournament didn’t materialise until 1958, three years after Delaunay died. The first tournament was held in 1960 in France with four teams. Soviet Union won the inaugural edition against Yugoslavia. Later in 1980, the tournament was expanded to 8 teams, and in 1996 got expanded to 16 teams. In 2008, UEFA approved a proposal to make the championship a 24-team event, to give smaller nations a chance to qualify for the tournament. The 2016 edition held in France was the first tournament where 24 teams participated.
Euro Cup trophy
The champion of the UEFA Euros receives the Henri Delaunay Trophy, named in honour of Henri Delaunay who had for the first time proposed the idea of a European Championship. The trophy was remodeled in 2008 and bears the words "Coupe Henri Delaunay". The name of the winning team is engraved on the trophy. The trophy is made of sterling silver and weighs 8 kilograms
About UEFA Euro 2020
UEFA Euro 2020, also referred to as 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, UEFA European Championship 2020, and Euro 2020, is the 16th UEFA European Championship scheduled to begin from 11th June 2021. The final match of the tournament will be played on 11th July 2021. The Championship is a quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe conducted by the Union of European Football Association (UEFA).
The tournament was to be held between 12th June 2020 and 12 July 2020. However, it had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic which brought the whole world to a standstill. UEFA decided to postpone the tournament to 2021, but the name ‘UEFA Euro 2020’ was retained.
The tournament will be held in 11 different cities across Europe. The decision to host the Championship in different cities across Europe was taken in 2012 and conveyed by then UEFA President Michel Platini who had said the decision to host in different nations was a ‘romantic’ one-off event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Championship.
Who are the host cities?
There are 11 different hosts across Europe where the Championship will be held. The Wembley Stadium in London, England will host both the semi-finals and the final. It is the largest capacity stadium among all the stadiums set to host the tournament. It has previously hosted the 1996 final when the tournament took place in England. The opening match of the tournament between Italy and Turkey will be played in Rome, Italy. Brussels and Dublin were also set to host the Championship, but they were later dropped reducing the number of host cities to 11.
Wembley Stadium: London, England
Saint Petersburg Stadium: Saint Petersburg, Russia
Baku Olympic Stadium: Baku, Azerbaijan
Football Arena Munich: Munich, Germany
Olimpico in Rome: Rome, Italy
National Arena Bucharest: Bucharest, Romania
Stadium La Cartuja Sevilla: Seville, Spain
Johan Cruijff Arena: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Puskás Aréna: Budapest, Hungary
Parken Stadium: Copenhagen, Denmark
Hampden Park: Glasgow, Scotland
Teams and groups UEFA Euro 2020:
A total of 24 teams in 6 different groups will start in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship.
Group A: Italy, Turkey, Wales, Switzerland
Group B: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Russia
Group C: Austria, Netherlands, Ukraine, North Macedonia
Group D: England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic
Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia
Group F: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany