History

Euro 2020 will be the 16th European Championship. In order to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the first Euros, the tournament will be held in 12 cities across 12 countries [1]. In addition to commemoration, UEFA suggested that this would also alleviate the financial burden on any one country during a time of financial difficulty for many European countries [2]. Due to this unique arrangement, there will be no automatic qualification for a host country, even for nations that were selected to host matches [3].

The qualifying process for this tournament has been altered with the introduction of the UEFA Nations League in 2018. 20 of the 24 spots were decided during the main qualifying stages, while the remaining four would be chosen through a play-off structure in which one team not already qualifying for the Euros would emerge from each division [4]. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the qualification process was interrupted before the final four spots were decided, so as of the time of publication, there are only 20 teams that have qualified for the group stages of the Euros.

Also of note, for the first time in tournament history, video assistant referee, or VAR, will be used [5]. This follows the implementation of VAR for the 2018 World Cup [6], and looks to be the beginning of the adoption of VAR in European championships.

[1https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2329745/Martin-Samuel-meets-Michel-Platini–read-FULL-transcript-interview-UEFA-president.html

[2] https://www.theguardian.com/football/2012/dec/06/euro-2020-across-europe-uefa

[3https://www.uefa.com/MultimediaFiles/Download/EuroExperience/competitions/General/01/95/21/41/1952141_DOWNLOAD.pdf

[4https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/mediaservices/mediareleases/newsid=2191279.html

[5https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/mediaservices/mediareleases/newsid=2573203.html

[6https://www.bbc.com/sport/football/43269186