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Posted on: Friday, June 11, 2021 – 10:21 AM | Last update: Friday, June 11, 2021 – 10:21 am
The events of this tournament were scheduled to be held in 12 cities throughout the European continent, but the number was reduced to 11 cities after this postponement due to the crisis of the outbreak of the new “Corona” virus.
Despite the continuing Corona pandemic in the world and its many impacts on life in Europe, the activities of this edition will start tomorrow from the Olympic Stadium in Rome.
Hosting this edition in different cities across Europe was a logistical challenge from the start, and it was inspired by the imagination of French former president of the European Football Association (UEFA) Michel Platini, who wanted to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Euro by holding tournament matches in many countries.
The Corona pandemic added to the obstacles and problems that faced this version, as the Spanish city of Bilbao and the Irish capital, Dublin, were excluded from the list of host cities, and the Spanish city of Valencia replaced Bilbao, while the matches, which were scheduled in Dublin, were distributed to “Wembley” stadium in London and the Russian city of St. Petersburg. .
Thus, the tournament matches will be played on the stadiums of 11 cities instead of 12 cities.
The strict Scottish rules and restrictions to combat the Corona pandemic prevented both the Croatian and Czech national teams from setting up a training camp on their soil, for fear of having to enter a quarantine period if any case of infection, even one, was discovered in the team’s ranks.
The past few days have witnessed the infection of more than one player in the participating teams with the “Corona” virus, most notably Sergio Busquets and Diego Llorente, while some have recently recovered from infection with Corona, including Toni Kroos, the Real Madrid midfielder and the German national team.
And UEFA decided last year to postpone the Euro 2020 activities until the middle of this year, and also set strict precautionary measures and restrictions to combat the pandemic in this tournament.
Each team must have at least 13 players who do not suffer from corona infection to play any match in the tournament, but the matches can still be postponed for at least 48 hours.
UEFA also allowed each of the 24 teams participating in the tournament to submit a list of 26 players instead of 23 players, with five substitutions allowed per match.
It is expected that the fans will be present in the stands of the various stadiums of the tournament, starting with the Hungarian capital Budapest, which will allow the presence of the full capacity of the stadium, to the German city of Munich, which will allow the presence of 14,000 fans in the stands.
“I am really happy that we can welcome fans in the stands at all matches of the tournament, so that the fans can celebrate their national teams all over the continent,” said Aleksander Ceferin, president of the European Football Association (UEFA) recently.
Joachim Loew, coach of the German national team (Mannschaft), agrees with the UEFA president on this, saying: “We have tried empty stands in stadiums for a long enough time.”
Fans and teams participating in the tournament face strict procedures and restrictions within the health protocols applied in the tournament matches, which will run from June 11 to July 11; The tournament matches are also held in Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Copenhagen and Glasgow.
And the Italian teams (Azzori) and Turkey will take the kick-off in this edition, as they meet tomorrow at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.
But most of the early interest in the tournament will focus on Group F, which includes the European champion Portugal, led by the great and dangerous striker Cristiano Ronaldo, the French team, the world title holder, led by its dangerous and talented striker Kylian Mbappe, and the German team led by its coach Joachim Loew, who leaves responsibility after the end of the tournament and the Hungarian team is not Strong candidate to cross from this group.
In addition to directly qualifying for the first and second place holders in each group in the first round of the tournament to the second round (the round of sixteen), the best four third-placed teams in the six groups will have the opportunity to complete the contract for the qualifiers for the second round.
“We want the fans to support us again and convince them to support German football again,” Loew said. “The goal is always to go as far as possible. But we are not among the favorites to win the title.”
Loew returned both Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels to the ranks of the Manchaft after an absence of two and a half years from the team, and French coach Didier Deschamps also returned Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema to the team after an absence for many years.
Benzema supports the attack of the French rooster, who also depends on Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann.
The French team lost the final of the last edition of the tournament (Euro 2016) at home to its Portuguese counterpart, but now he wants to repeat what he did in 2000 when he added the European title to the 1998 World Cup title.
France won the world title in 2018 in Russia after defeating Croatia in the final.
The Belgian national team, which is ranked first in the world rankings of football teams, is among the most favorites to win the title, given the team’s many stars in its various ranks, such as Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku.
The England national team, led by its coach Gareth Southgate, and its stars such as Harry Kane, Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho, are among the contenders for the title.
The list of candidates also includes the Croatian national team, the runner-up for the world champion, led by veteran midfielder Luka Modric, and the Spanish national team, which is running the tournament without its captain and giant defender Sergio Ramos, but includes the talented player Pedri, and the Italian team in its new form.
The Swedish national team will play the tournament without its veteran striker and icon Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and the Dutch team will play the tournament without its famous defender Virgil van Dijk due to injuries.
Finland and North Macedonia are competing in the tournament for the first time, but both of them carry great ambitions for the tournament.
Although he relied on Bayern Munich star Robert Lewandowski in the attack line, Lewandowski’s goals may not be enough to lead the Polish team to the final of the tournament at Wembley Stadium in London on July 11.