The UEFA Euro 2020 – Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming European Football Championship
The history of football is long and filled with exciting moments. Europe is football’s cradle, or at least, the continent where all the athletes converge to play for the most popular and expensive football clubs. All eyes turn to the European national leagues every year and even more so when the UEFA European Football Championship is scheduled to take place. The Euros, as it is commonly called, is a quadriannual championship that has been around since 1960 and has changed multiple times throughout the years. It once only allowed 4 teams to play, which was expanded to 8, then 16, and finally, 24, the format which is currently used. This is just the format for the main tournament, while the Qualification Tournament has many more teams, each wanting to participate in the UEFA Euro 2020.
The UEFA Euro 2020 Qualification Tournament
The qualification tournament of the European Championship has been around since the very beginning of the Euros, but the number of teams participating in the tournament changed to accommodate more national Football Teams.
At the moment, the number of participating countries in the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying tournament is 55, which is a lot more than the starting 17, back in 1960.
Participating countries have to qualify for the main event, which was a requirement since the start. One of the major things that changed for the upcoming 2020 Euros is that the host country cannot automatically qualify for the main event. One of the reasons for that is that there isn’t a single host country, but rather multiple ones, spread across Europe.
UEFA 2020 Euro Groups
While the groups for the main event have not yet been decided, given that the qualification tournament runs for the entirety of 2019 and well into 2020. Some teams will advance to the main event, namely the top 2 teams from each of the 10 groups, making them the 20 entries of 24. These matches will be played from March 2019 until November 2019.
The remaining 4 teams can qualify through the qualification play-offs. This is a new way to qualify for the tournament, given that the Nations League is now connected to the European Championship. The top 4 teams of each league will be seeded into the playoffs and then drawn into 4 paths. Each of the paths will have a semi-final and final match, meaning a single match elimination format. Following that, the winners of each of the paths will have their own semi-finals and finals, namely the best of the 4 teams against the last and the second against the third ranked team. Regardless of who wins the qualification playoffs, the four teams which advance as the path winners will be qualified for the main event.
The UEFA 2020 Host – Or Hosts
Unlike the previous tournaments where the hosting country had a spot automatically, the UEFA Euro 2020 will not allow any of the host countries to be automatically seeded into the main tournament.
The event will take place across 12 venues in 12 different cities and countries. The group stage will take place in Glasgow, Budapest, Bilbao, Dublin, Bucharest, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, as well as other places, but these ones will only host the group stage and the round of 16.
The quarter-finals will take place in Baku (Azerbaijan), Rome, Munich and Saint Petersburg, as well as some of the group stage matches.
The semi-finals and finals will take place at Wembley, London, along with some of the round of 16 matches, as well as the group stage matches.
The UEFA 2020 Mascot and Marketing
Like every championship for the past 20 years, the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020 will have its own mascot, called Skillzy. Skillzy is a footballer, with longish hair tied into a ponytail, showing a mixture of various football cultures such as nutmeg (panna), street football and freestyle football.
The sponsors of the UEFA Euro 2020 will be FedEx, Volkswagen, Alipay, SOCAR, Booking Holdings and Hisense. Given the recent changes to the qualification tournament and with the exclusion of the host seedings, not to mention multiple venues, the 2020 Euros is looking to be a very popular event.
UEFA Euro 2020 Predictions – Who Can Take It All?
Following the French domination at the World Cup in 2018, many people are looking at the French national team as being one of the favorites to take it all. Additionally, they have one of the highest paid football players, Paul Pogba. Given Argentina’s poor performance at the World Cup, losing in the round of 16 (some argue that they would have advanced further had they met France later in the tournament; the match was full of goals, with France barely winning with 4 goals over 3), people should not expect the highest paid players to be able to carry an entire team.
Despite that counter-argument, Portugal is looking very good, and are one of the main contenders for the title, at least in the eyes of the bookmakers and critics. Switzerland, Spain and Germany are always there, as well as England. The English had a good showing at the World Cup, while the German national team failed to get out of groups. Many critics still hold them high, despite their failures. The Belgian national team is also looking like a strong contender for the UEFA Euro 2020 title.
The UEFA Euro 2020 Schedule – When Can You Watch it?
Since the matches are played from March to March, basically, if you count the playoffs of the tournament, then the entire year should provide you with entertainment. There will be a couple of matches in June, which will be followed by a longer pause until September. The second week of September will have plenty of matches, as well as the second week of October. The third week of November will host the final group stage matches of the qualification tournament.
The UEFA Euro 2020 Tickets
Given that the qualification matches are already underway, it might be impossible to get some of the tickets. The matches which are to be played in September, October and November will be easier to access, due to a three-month pause between June and September. Checking the schedule and venue is recommended before purchasing any tickets. Google offers a comprehensive schedule of the UEFA Euro 2020, as well as many other sports events.
The upcoming UEFA European Championship is going to be a very interesting event for sports fans, punters, hosts and the national teams, as well. It is shaping up to be one of the best Euros ever, especially due to some interesting facts regarding its schedule and seeding. The 2020 European Championship is already gaining traction, so make sure to stay updated.