It’s a year late, but at last, the countdown is truly underway and Euro 2020 will be upon us in a matter of a few short weeks. While the dates have been set in stone – the event will start with a Group A encounter between Italy and Turkey – there are still question marks over whether the original plan to have games hosted in 12 cities across the continent can or should go ahead.
Let in the fans or throw in your hands
That is, effectively, the message being communicated by Aleksander Ceferin. The UEFA President told Sky Sport that he does not expect any game to be played to an empty stadium, and if that is something that any one of the 12 co-hosts cannot accommodate, they need to step down. Each city has until April 7th to submit its formal proposal on how many spectators will be permitted, and UEFA will make the final decision a week later, at which point the venues for all group and knockout games will be set in stone.
Rumors persist that Dublin is showing a dwindling appetite for persisting with its participation, and the Irish government had separately indicated that fans would not be invited back in to watch major sporting events before the end of summer. There are similar doubts over Glasgow, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that England can host additional games if needed.
Home field advantage?
Playing in front of a home crowd is always a bonus, but it is likely to be especially so for Euro 2020. The likelihood is that the hosts will only admit domestic fans, in a bid to discourage non-essential travel. This means that crowds will be even more partisan than usual, and it’s something worth keeping in mind for anyone seeking Euro 2020 odds tips. It could certainly be good news for England, who are already favorites with most bookmakers and who will host the semi finals, the final and possibly some other critical games if other cities pull out.
As things stand, England definitely gets its own campaign started with a home fixture against Croatia. The game will be at Wembley, and England fans will hope that their team will also be around to play the tournament closer at the same venue a couple of weeks later.
The hosts with the most
Subject to the possible changes already mentioned, Euro 2020 will be played out in some of the most famous stadia in European football:
- Wembley Stadium (London)
- Stadio Olimpico (Rome)
- Olympic Stadium (Baku)
- Krestovsky Stadium (Saint Petersburg)
- Parken Stadium (Copenhagen)
- Johan Cruyff Arena (Amsterdam)
- Arena Nationala (Bucharest)
- Hampden Park (Glasgow)
- Aviva Stadium (Dublin)
- San Mames (Bilbao)
- Allianz Arena (Munich)
- Puskas Arena (Budapest)
Wembley will host both the semi finals and the final, while the quarter finals are scheduled to take place in Rome, Baku, Munich and Saint Petersburg. However, additional stadium facilities are available in London in the event of any withdrawals.