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.
Euro 2020 Hosts
In 2020 the European Championship will be held in 13 different venues across 13 different cities in 13 different nations. The 13 venues were confirmed on September 19, 2014.
Of the 13 venues, 12 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.
|Group stage & Round of 16||Belgium||Brussels||Eurostadium|
|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|
|Semi-finals & Final||England||London||Wembley Stadium|
Why is Euro 2020 being held across 13 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 will the Final for the Euro 2020 be held?
The final of Euro 2020 will be held at Wembley Stadium in London, which is the home of the England national team. The venue, affectionately known as ‘The Home of Football’, will also be used for the two semi-final games.
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.
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
On September 28, UEFA confirmed that Dublin will be the venue for the Euro 2020 qualifying draw. The event will be held at the Convention Centre on December 2, 2018.
The qualifying draw will also be broadcasted live to a global audience as European teams discover who they must overcome in order to secure a place at the final tournament.
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 is scheduled to get underway in 2018. It will consist of four different divisions (or ‘Leagues’) and 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.
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.
Euro 2020 Draw
The date on which the draw for Euro 2020 will take place has not yet been announced, but it is likely to occur after all the qualified teams are known in March 2020.
The draw for Euro 2016 took place in the December before the tournament, but that should change given that the nature of qualification has been altered with the Nations League.
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.
02/12/2018: European Qualifiers group stage draw, Dublin
21/03/2019: European Qualifiers begin
22/11/2019: European Qualifiers play-off draw
01/12/2019: UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament draw
26/03/2020: European Qualifiers play-offs begin
12/06/2020: Opening game, Stadio Olimpico (Rome)
12/07/2020: Final, Wembley Stadium (London)