Countries across Europe were preparing for the tournament last year, originally set to start on June 12, 2020.
But the coronavirus lockdown has had unusual consequences on the footballing world and urged organizers to rethink when the tournament should be held. Last March, it was announced that it had been put on hold until the summer of 2021 but will still be known as ‘Euro 2020’. The tournament is taking place 60 years on since the first of its kind and is still set to be held at a number of cities around the continent, finishing with the final at Wembley in London. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal beat France in the final of the last competition while England crashed out in the round of 16 to minnows Iceland. Now all eyes are on this summer’s tournament with the Euros finally ready to start in just a few weeks.
The rescheduled tournament will kick off on Friday, June 11, 2021, at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico, an opening match between Turkey and Italy. England starts their campaign against Croatia at Wembley on Sunday, June 13. Scotland starts a day later against the Czech Republic at Hampden Park, as does Wales, who plays Switzerland in Azerbaijan. Once the group stage is completed, the round of 16 will begin on June 27, with the quarter-finals a week later on July 2. And after the semi-finals on July 6 and 7, the winners will be crowned on Sunday, July 11 at Wembley.
The competition will be made up of 24 teams in six groups. The top two in each group will progress to the Round of 16 with the fourth-placed team eliminated. The four highest-ranking third-placed sides will also reach the knockout phase with the remaining two sides going home. The tournament will then proceed through to the knockout phase before a champion is crowned. Unlike the World Cup, there will be no third-place play-off at the Euros.