Google Doodle marks the start of UEFA Euro 2020 | India News
A staple tournament for soccer fans around the world since 1960, this year marks the first time in history that all 51 matches of the tournament will take place in host cities across Europe, a dozen in total.
The delayed Euro 2020, which finally kicks off on Friday, is a year late, with Covid still poised to overshadow the tournament.
The continent-wide event, first envisioned by then-UEFA president Michel Platini when he announced that the tournament would take place across Europe, will be played in front of a limited audience and with strict health restrictions.
The action begins at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome, where Italy faces Turkey in front of 16,000 fans.
Most of the 11 venues, all in different countries, will only be partially full for the matches, although Denmark announced Thursday that it would lift the mask rules and allow 25,000 fans, instead of 16,000, to attend the games in Copenhagen.
Munich aims to host a minimum of 14,500 fans, about 22 percent of the Allianz Arena’s capacity, the lowest of the stadiums in use.
Dublin and Bilbao were removed from the host list after failing to give guarantees that they could meet UEFA’s requirement to accommodate a limited number of spectators, but Sevilla replaced Bilbao while the Dublin games went to London and St. Petersburg.
On the pitch, France will be a firm favorite despite being one of the few traditional giants that does not have home games. The first game of the world champions is in Munich against Germany on Tuesday.
(With inputs from agencies)