The continental tournament opens this Friday in Rome with Italy-Turkey its most unusual edition, delayed a year by a still threatening virus
For the first time, 11 cities share the role of host for a month
One year later than planned, the Euro 2020 it finally gets going. Rome, with some 16,000 fans in the stands, will host this Friday the Italy-Turkey opening of the most unusual European Championship in history. It was going to be different from serve, as it was a multi-site edition, 11 at the end instead of the 13 envisaged in the original plan, but the disruptions caused by the coronavirus have shaken the fundamentals of the organization. A surprise awaits crouching after any PCR. A scare-proof championship is planned.
When Michel platini conceived a championship of nations in various cities, the world was shaken by another pandemic. It was 2012, the Frenchman was presiding over UEFA and then the virus of the economic crisis cracked the spirits of countless countries. Platini thought that a Eurocup with different hosts would save on infrastructure such as stadiums and airports. Today, his successor, Alexander Ceferin, denies the idea, although he supported it at the time. Coordination is not being easy. And what remains.
Fear of PCRs
Each country has its restrictions, its travel limitations, its quarantines, its vaccination policies … Headaches have been and are constant in this multinational mosaic. Ceferin won’t even be able to breathe a sigh of relief once the ball is rolling. PCRs will continue to be performed and the possibility of one or more positives will float in the tournament environment until the end.
UEFA has been uncompromising about the public in the 11 venues. Hence, Seville relieved Bilbao, which did not guarantee it. Stadiums will be 22% to 100% occupied depending on the country. 100% will be only in Budapest. Pandemic laws are lax in Hungary. On television, an average audience of 150 million per game is estimated.
of the debutantes
It is a different Eurocup for more reasons. Each coach has had the option of summoning up to 26 players, he will be able to make five substitutions in each game (a sixth in overtime) and, of course, there will be more games than ever (51), because more teams are cited than in any other edition (24). Finland and North Macedonia make their debut.
😎 5 awesome #OTD solo goals! Better here? 🔥
– UEFA EURO 2020 (@ EURO2020) June 9, 2021
Logistical aspects aside, with the ball at the feet, it seems logical to opt for the success of France. It makes sense that a selection that has Mbappé, Benzema, Kanté and, yes, why not mention them, Dembelé and Griezmann, attract good forecasts. In the soccer agoras the names of Belgium (Lukaku, De Bruyne, Carrasco … a lot of gunpowder), England (names of talent and young people he has them in abundance), Portugal or even Italy, undefeated many games with Mancini at the helm.
And Spain? Luis Enrique’s Spain is a team undergoing reconstruction, with a mysterious performance, with endless names to discover and, above all, without Madrid footballers for the first time in a major tournament. A decision that has made Luis Enrique in a villain in the state capital. From the first minute it is known that much of the critics will judge him with the tolerance of a hungry beast: any misstep will provoke furious claws.
Each participating federation will receive a minimum of 9.2 million euros. The further you advance in the tournament, the more income you will earn. The winning team will take 34 million, according to the UEFA scale.
In search of market
From a club perspective, the Euro is always a great showcase to show off unnecessary players, to see if someone bites, but with the safes in cobwebs, the business opportunities seem less. Although you never know. With the market stopped, many movements seem pending of what happens in the championship. And in the case of Barça, there are many players who are looking for destiny.
There is a social element to which you will have to pay attention. Many teams have made it a conscientious routine to kneel before a game to condemn racism. In social networks there is a problem in this regard that, in the Premier above all, it is intended to tackle. The death of George floyd a year ago under the weight of a merciless policeman he prompted the gesture, which is not welcome in some places. Boos have been heard in England in recent days and more pronounced in Budapest before two friendlies. Careful with that. The so-called European fraternity is fractured by episodes of this type.
But the European Championship is above all football, it is passion although with less public, and it is a catalyst for stars. It is an open edition, like almost all of them, and can be seen in Spain on free-to-air television. A sofa month is coming. Let’s get comfortable.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.