EURO 2020

The 2020 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2020, or simply Euro 2020, was the 16th UEFA European Championship, the quadrennial international men’s football championship of Europe organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

The tournament, held in 11 cities in 11 UEFA countries, was originally scheduled from 12 June to 12 July 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe and rescheduled for 11 June to 11 July 2021. It retained the name UEFA Euro 2020. Portugal were the defending champions, having won the 2016 competition in France, but were eliminated in the round of 16 by Belgium. The video assistant referee (VAR) system was introduced at the European Championship in this tournament.

UEFA President Michel Platini said in 2012 that the tournament was to be hosted in several nations as a “romantic” one-off event to celebrate the 60th “birthday” of the European Championship competition. Having the largest capacity of any of the stadiums entered for the competition, Wembley Stadium in London hosted the semi-finals and final for the second time, having done so before at the 1996 tournament in the stadium’s former incarnation. The Stadio Olimpico in Rome was chosen to host the opening match, between Turkey and Italy. Originally to be played at 13 venues, two hosts were later removed: Brussels in December 2017 due to the abandonment of building the Eurostadium, and Dublin in April 2021 as there was no guarantee that spectators could attend. Spain also changed their host city from Bilbao to Seville to allow for spectators at matches.

POSTPONEMENT OF THE TOURNAMENT DUE TO COVID-19

In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe triggered concerns regarding its potential impact on players, staff and visitors to the twelve host cities of the tournament. At the UEFA Congress in early March, UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin said the organisation was confident that the situation could be dealt with, while general secretary Theodore Theodoridis stated that UEFA was maintaining contact with the World Health Organization and national governments regarding the coronavirus. The impact on football grew later that month, as numerous domestic and UEFA competition matches began taking place behind closed doors. By 13 March 2020, upcoming UEFA competition fixtures were postponed, while major European leagues were suspended, including the Bundesliga, La Liga, Ligue 1, Premier League and Serie A.

UEFA held a videoconference on 17 March 2020 with representatives of its 55 member associations, along with a FIFPro representative and the boards of the European Club Association and European Leagues, to discuss the response to the outbreak for domestic and European competitions, including Euro 2020. At the meeting, UEFA announced that the tournament would be postponed to the following year, proposing that it take place from 11 June to 11 July 2021. The postponement allowed for pressure to be reduced on the public services in affected countries, while also providing space in the calendar for domestic European leagues that had been suspended to complete their seasons. On the following day, the Bureau of the FIFA Council approved the date change in the FIFA International Match Calendar. As a result, the expanded FIFA Club World Cup, due to take place in June and July 2021, was postponed. On 23 April 2020, UEFA confirmed that the tournament would still be known as UEFA Euro 2020.

CHANGES IN RULES OF THE TOURNAMENT

On 31 March 2021, the UEFA Executive Committee approved the use of a maximum of five substitutions in matches at the tournament (with a sixth allowed in extra time). However, each team are only given three opportunities to make substitutions, with a fourth opportunity allowed in extra time, excluding substitutions made at half-time, before the start of extra time and at half-time in extra time. The use of five substitutes has been permitted by IFAB during the COVID-19 pandemic due to the resulting fixture congestion, which has created a greater burden on players.

At the start of April 2021, UEFA also said they were considering allowing tournament squads to be expanded from the usual 23 players, following calls from national team managers in case of a possible COVID outbreak in a team, as well as to reduce player fatigue caused by the fixture congestion of the prior season. On 27 April, it was reported that the UEFA National Team Competitions Committee had approved the expansion of squads to 26 players, subject to confirmation by the UEFA Executive Committee. On 4 May 2021, the executive committee confirmed the use of 26-player squads. However, teams still may only name a maximum of 23 players on the match sheet for each tournament fixture (of which 12 are substitutes), in line with the Laws of the Game. These 23 must include three goalkeepers. It was also announced that after each team’s first match, goalkeepers may still be replaced due to physical incapacity, even if the other goalkeepers from the squad are still available. Water breaks were permitted so that players could drink from their own personal bottles. Cooling breaks, first seen at the 2014 FIFA World Cup were also permitted for games played in higher temperatures.

FINAL OF EURO 2020

The final of Euro 2020 was played between Italy and England on 11 July 2021. England took the lead with a Luke Shaw strike in the 2nd minute, the quickest ever goal in an Euro final. Leonardo Bonucci scored the equaliser for Italy in the 67th minute. The score remained 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes as well as after Extra-Time. Italy won 3-2 on penalties.

AWARDS WON BY PLAYERS

  1. Cristiano Ronaldo-Golden Boot Award with 5 goals and 1 assist in 4 matches
  2. Gianluigi Donnarumma-Player of the tournament(Golden Ball)
  3. Pedri-Young Player of the tournament

Categories: News