Everything to know about Euro Cup 2020 2021
It is a crucial year for football lovers all over the world. Since, last year in 2020, the Euro Cup was supposed to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the title, 2021 has increased expectations a lot as a postponed version of the earlier. The COVID-19 pandemic has massacred different countries widely in its several waves.
In the aftermath of that, when the UEFA president Michel Platini has announced the new format of the Euro 2020, many experts burst into criticism for the plan’s uncertainty. Although it is happening in 2021, the name 2020 will remain in the title.
The Participating Countries in this Euro 2020
There is a saying that the UEFA has an obsession with the number twelve. Across 12 cities in Europe, the championship takes place from June the 12th to the 12th of July. And more interestingly the 24 (double of 12) countries are taking part in the Euro 2021. The Euro title predecessor Portugal, who won the 2016 championship, will be amongst the 24 teams as well. The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner France is going to give a tough fight according to many.
11 countries are hosting the tournament this year. Among the 11, national teams of Denmark, Germany, Italy, England, Spain, Netherlands, and Russia have qualified for the main championships. There is a craze about the debut participants in the European championships as well. Finland and North Macedonia are the two major names amongst the first-timers. The winner of the 2004 title Greece will not take part in this Euro 2020 summer championship.
The decided groups are:
Group A: Italy, Wales, Switzerland, Turkey
Group B: Finland, Russia, Belgium, Denmark
Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, New Macedonia
Group D: England, Czech Republic, Scotland, Croatia
Group E: Spain, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden
Group F: Germany, Portugal, France, Hungary
A Little Dip to the History of the Euro Cups
The UEFA Euro Cup is the second-largest football event in the world after the FIFA World Cup. Many people confuse the Euros with the European Cup which are completely different things. The first title of the championship was held in France in 1960 and the first champion was the former Soviet Union team. It was the French Football Federations secretary-general Henri Delaunay who proposed the idea of a pan-European football tournament in 1927. To honor him, the trophy was named after him.
If you look at the history of the championships, Germany has been the most successful team of all time as it won three titles, were the finalists of six tournaments amongst the twelve times they participated in the game. Spain also won three titles while they become finalists in six games amongst ten times of participation. The last final was between Portugal and France in 2016, where Portugal has a 1-0 win against the latter. But soon after that, France had won with 4-2 goals against Croatia in the FIFA world cup 2018.
The format of the 2021 Euro Championship
- In the beginning stage, all twenty-four teams got divided into six groups of four teams each. In every group, the four groups will play each other.
- There will be a winner and a runner-up from each group. And apart from them, there will be four best third-place owners who will complete the advancing stage of sixteen teams competing with each other.
- The winners of the knockout phase will advance to the quarter-finals where eight teams will play each other.
- Then the semi-finals will take place with four teams and the winners of the semi-finals will play the final.
- After 1984, the UEFA Euro championship has stopped arranging the match for a bronze trophy or a third place, as the FIFA world cup does.
5 new things about the Euro 2020-2021
- One of the prime changes in this year’s tournaments is, this is the first time 11 countries will host the tournament in twelve cities of Europe. Up until this year, only one selected country each year had hosted the games.
- This year the size of the squads for the teams increased too. The UEFA executive committee has allowed 26 instead of 23 players for the player selection pool. They will get five alternative players for the knockout matches.
- Due to the ongoing pandemic situation, routine inspections will take rounds. If a local health authority advises a group of players from a team to isolate themselves from the team, the team can still play along. As long as the team manages thirteen fit players including a goalkeeper in the field, they are allowed to play.
- If the teams cannot manage the thirteen players on a given match, they can get a reschedule within 48 hours. But if the team fails to comply with the numbers again, the team will lose 3-0 to the opponent.
- The Euro 2020 is taking advantage of the video assistant referee system (VAR) for the first time in the championship’s history
Critics on playing in 11 Countries in between Pandemic
After the UEFA announced its decision on including twelve cities from eleven European countries to host the tournament, it sparked a lot of debate. The critics are saying that it is unrealistic to plan such an extravagant plan for the games in the time of COVID. Due to the infections, cross-border transport has become a lot more complicated than it used to be. The hosting destinations are thousands of kilometers apart.
In such a situation flying the players in the entire continent seems unreasonable to many experts. Some political analysts are seeing the move as a trick to fetch votes from the smaller countries for the EU. Although, the powerhouse teams like England, Denmark, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, etc are getting home matches while smaller countries have to send players to the other end of the continents.
As an explanation from the UEFA, this plan is an arrangement for sharing the burden of hosting such a grand event in one single country. They are sharing the troubles of the economy and fans by going to 11 countries. They said that they are taking the Euros to the fans.