Euro 2020 gets under way today

Euro 2020 gets under way today. The competition keeps its name even though it was delayed for a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic. It will now run from 11 June to 11 July 2021 across 11 countries, separated by 4,766km.

The tournament kicks off with Italy v Turkey in Rome on Friday, 11 June (20:00 BST) and concludes with the final at Wembley in London on Sunday, 11 July.

The other host cities are Glasgow, Amsterdam, Baku, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Munich, Rome and Seville.

Twenty-four teams will be vying for the trophy between 11 June and 11 July.

Of the 24 teams that qualified for the tournament, 19 are returning from the 2016 edition. Among them are Belgium and Italy, who both recorded flawless qualifying campaigns (10 wins in 10 matches), defending European champions Portugal and world champions France, with Germany also qualifying for a record 13th straight European Championship.

Finland and North Macedonia will make their European Championship debut, having never previously qualified for a major tournament. Scotland, a co-host of the tournament, qualified for their first major international tournament since the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and their first European Championship since 1996.

The Netherlands and Denmark returned after missing out in 2016, with the Dutch featuring in a major tournament for the first time since the 2014 FIFA World Cup. For the first time, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia and Wales reached successive European Championship tournaments.

Greece, winners in 2004, were the only former champions that failed to qualify, missing their second straight European Championship and third consecutive major tournament. Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Romania failed to qualify after appearing in the 2016 finals.

Of the 11 host countries, seven managed to qualify directly for the tournament, while Hungary and Scotland qualified via the play-offs. Romania were eliminated in the semi-finals of the play-offs, and Azerbaijan were eliminated following the qualifying group stage. The Republic of Ireland, originally selected as a tournament host, were also eliminated in the semi-finals of the play-offs, but were later stripped of their hosting rights.

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