The European football bonanza, popularly known as the UEFA Euro or simply as Euro, is scheduled to kick off on June 12, 2020, and will run through to July 12, 2020. The tournament will be held in 12 cities in 12 countries across Europe as part of the 60th-anniversary celebration of the championship competition. Rome’s Stadio Olimpico will host the opening match while Wembley Stadium in London will host the semi-finals and final. A total of 24 teams will fight it out for the coveted Henri Delaunay Cup. As of January 1, 2020, 20 teams had qualified for the Euro 2020. The other four countries will qualify through play-offs.
Countries Which Have Already Qualified For The Euro 2020
As of January 1, 2020, a total of 20 countries had qualified for the 16th edition of the UEFA European Championship. Of the countries that have qualified for the tournament, 17 participated in the 2016 edition held in France. Among teams are Portugal (European defending champions), France (World champions), and Germany who has featured in the last 12 consecutive tournaments. Italy and Belgium qualified without losing any qualifying match. Finland will be making its debut in the 2020 edition while Denmark and Netherlands will be making a return after missing the party in 2016. Wales and Austria will be making a successive attempt at winning the tournament. Other countries that have also qualified are Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Spain, Turkey, England, Czech Republic, Sweden, Croatia, and Switzerland.
The Qualifying Format
There was no automatic qualifying berth for the Euro 2020. All the 55 UEFA countries, including the countries whose cities will host the tournament, went through a competitive qualifying campaign. On December 2, 2018, UEFA held a qualifying draw in which all the teams were divided into ten qualifying groups, with each group consisting of five or six teams. The qualifying matches started in March 2019 and ended in November 2019. Two top teams from each of the ten groups earned an automatic qualification, making the 20 countries that have already qualified. Already, the 20 teams have been drawn into six groups, of which two of the groups are complete and the other four awaiting the playoffs.
The UEFA EURO 2020 Playoffs
The EUFA European Championship will feature 24 teams only for the second time. 20 teams have already qualified with four more teams required to complete the number. A total of 16 teams will battle it out for the four remaining slots in the play-off semi-finals and finals to be held on March 26, 2020, and March 31, 2020, respectively. The semi-final play-off feature paths A to D. Each path comprises of two pairs of teams as follows; Path A (Bulgaria v Hungary and Romania v Iceland), Path B (Slovakia v Republic of Ireland and Bosnia and Herzegovina), Path C (Norway v Serbia and Scotland v Israel) and Path D (North Macedonia v Kosovo and Georgia v Belarus). The two winners in each path will play against each other in the play-off finals. Eventually, only one team from each of the four paths will qualify for the UEFA Euro 2020.