Euro 2020: Hosts, qualifiers & your guide to the new-look European Championship

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The European Championship enters new territory in 2020 with the tournament taking place in a number of countries across the continent.

Governing body UEFA has decided to stage “a party all over Europe” to mark 60 years since the inaugural tournament and, for the second time in history, it will feature 24 teams.

With the competition being held in a variety of countries, there is no automatic qualifier, and each of UEFA’s member nations will have to earn their place at the finals.

The qualification process has changed somewhat and the introduction of the Nations League has led to some confusion, but luckily Goal is here to break matters down.

  1. Euro 2020 hosts
  2. Euro 2020 final
  3. Euro 2020 format
  4. Euro 2020 qualifiers
  5. Euro 2020 draw
  6. Euro 2020 tickets
  7. Euro 2020 favourites

Euro 2020 hosts

In 2020 the European Championship will be held in 12 different venues across 12 different cities in 12 different nations.

Of the 12 venues, all will stage at least three group stage games and a knock-out round tie each. The breakdown of venues and games can be seen in the table below.

Games Country City Stadium
Group stage & Round of 16 Denmark Copenhagen Parken Stadium
Group stage & Round of 16 Hungary Budapest Ferenc Puskas Stadium
Group stage & Round of 16 Ireland Dublin Aviva Stadium
Group stage & Round of 16 Netherlands Amsterdam Johann Cruijff Arena
Group stage & Round of 16 Romania Bucharest Arena Nationala
Group stage & Round of 16 Scotland Glasgow Hampden Park
Group stage & Round of 16 Spain Bilbao San Mames Stadium
Group stage & Quarter-final Azerbaijan Baku National Stadium
Group stage & Quarter-final Germany Munich Allianz Arena
Group stage & Quarter-final Italy Rome Stadio Olimpico
Group stage & Quarter-final Russia Saint Petersburg Krestovsky Stadium
Group stage, Round of 16, Semi-finals & Final England London Wembley Stadium

Why is Euro 2020 being held across 12 venues?

The decision to expand the European Championship to span the continent instead of being confined to one or two host nations was made by UEFA’s Executive Committee in 2012 as a way to mark the 60th anniversary of the tournament. 

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who was then UEFA General Secretary, explained that “instead of having a party in one country, we will have a party all over Europe in the summer of 2020.” 

“An opportunity like this, to give many cities and many countries the possibility to host even just one part of a EURO, is certainly an excellent thing, especially in times when you have an economic situation where you cannot expect countries to invest in facilities in the way that such an event requires,” said Infantino. 

It remains unclear whether UEFA will continue with such an approach to the staging of their flagship international tournament after 2020, but Infantino has suggested that it would be a one-off.

Where is the Euro 2020 final?

The final of Euro 2020 will be held at Wembley Stadium in London, which is the home of the England national team, who finished fourth in the 2018 World Cup. The venue, affectionately known as ‘The Home of Football’, will also be used for the two semi-final games.

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Redeveloped and re-opened in 2007, the new state-of-the-art facility has a capacity of 90,000 and has hosted FA Cup and League Cup finals, as well as the Community Shield.

Wembley (in its former guise) previously staged the final of the European Championship in 1996 when England hosted the tournament. The original Wembley was also used for the 1966 World Cup final.

Euro 2020 format

As mentioned above, Euro 2020 will feature 24 teams following UEFA’s decision to expand the number of participants from 2016.

The format for the final tournament will be the same as its predecessor Euro 2016, meaning that there will be six groups comprised of four teams.

As with Euro 2016, the winner and runner-up in each group, as well as the four best third-placed sides progress to the round of 16.

Cristiano Ronaldo Portugal France UEFA Euro 10072016
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Euro 2020 qualifiers

Qualification for Euro 2020 will incorporate a new system, whereby the bulk of the teams qualify through the traditional group method and four places are decided through the UEFA Nations League.

The Euro 2020 qualifiers will take place between March and November 2019 and a total of 20 teams will progress from this phase. The remaining four places will be decided through the 2018-19 Nations League, with play-off games set for March 2020.

Euro 2020 qualifying groups and draw

Dublin was be the venue for the Euro 2020 qualifying draw, which was held at the Convention Centre on December 2, 2018.

UEFA’s 55 member nations are eligible to compete and will be divided into 10 groups. There will be five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams with the top two teams in each group securing qualification.

What is the UEFA Nations League?

The UEFA Nations League is a competition for UEFA’s 55 members, which ran for the first time in 2018. It will consisted of four different divisions (or ‘Leagues’) and has three stages.

Each League will yield a qualifier for Euro 2020, which will be decided via play-offs between the teams that have not already qualified for the finals.

Check out UEFA’s handy visual guide to the process below.

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The play-off spots will be allocated to the winner of each group, but if the winner has already qualified, the berth will go to the next best ranked team – that has not qualified – in that league.

You can read our in-depth explainer for the Nations League here.

Euro 2020 draw

The draw for the final tournament will be held on November 30, 2019, once all the participating teams have been confirmed.

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There were four seeding pots for the 2016 draw and, because the format of the final tournament remains the same, the same approach is likely to be applied to Euro 2020.

UEFA’s national team coefficient ranking was used to determine which teams populated each pot for the Euro 2016 draw and, unless there are drastic changes, that will also be the case in 2020.

Euro 2020 tickets

The ticket application process for fans of teams that have qualified via the traditional European Championship qualifying will open in December 2019, while supporters of the teams who win the Nations League play-offs can apply from April 2020, around a month before the tournament begins.

In December 2019, fans of national teams that qualify for tournament can apply for tickets if they meet the criteria defined through their respective national football associations.

Fans can register their interest for the next phase of ticket sales on the UEFA website here.

Ireland fans Euro 2016 5
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Who are the favourites to win Euro 2020?

France will go into the tournament firm favourites after winning the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Kylian Mbappe, Antoine Griezmann and Paul Pogba will still be key players within Les Bleus’ squad.

World Cup 2018 runners-up Croatia will also be in strong contention to win the tournament, with Euro 2020 possibly being the last major international tournament for many of their golden generation such as Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic, Ivan Perisic, Mario Mandzukic and Danijel Subasic.

Other teams expected to do well are semi-finalists Belgium, Spain and England, the latter of whom will both want to ‘bring football home’ after equalling their best effort in 50 years with a semi-final berth this summer.

World Cup 2014 winners Germany will also want to redeem themselves after being knocked out at the group stage in this year’s tournament.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal will aim to defend the title they won against the odds in 2016. Outsiders who qualified for World Cup 2018 knockout stages includes Switzerland, Denmark and Sweden.

Italy and Wales had memorable European Championships last time around and will be hoping for more of the same, while Netherlands will be aiming to qualify for their first major tournament in six years.

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