The UEFA Euro 2020, postponed from last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, begins on Friday, with Turkey facing former winner Italy in Rome.

When the action begins at 8:00 p.m. GMT in front of 16,000 fans expected in a quarter-full Stadio Olimpico, the overwhelming feeling for European football governing body UEFA will be of relief after the unprecedented decision to put the tournament on hold. Last year.

Portugal, which is grouped together with Hungary and former winners France and Germany, are the defending champions, having won the 2016 edition.

What are the key dates?

The tournament will start on Friday June 11. The knockout stage kicks off on June 26 and the final takes place on July 11 at Wembley Stadium in London.

Where does the tournament take place?

For the first time in the history of the tournament, it will take place across the continent with 11 host cities in total: London, St. Petersburg, Baku, Munich, Rome, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Glasgow and Seville.

How many teams participate?

A total of 24 teams divided into six groups will take part in the tournament, which includes 51 matches.

group A: Turkey, Italy, Wales, Switzerland

Group B: Denmark, Finland, Belgium, Russia

Group C: Netherlands, Ukraine, Austria, North Macedonia

Group D: England, Croatia, Scotland, Czech Republic

Group E: Spain, Sweden, Poland, Slovakia

Group F: Hungary, Portugal, France, Germany

What is the format of the tournament?

The top two teams from each group, as well as the top four third, will advance to the round of 16 which will be followed by the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final.

Are supporters allowed inside the stadiums?

Yes. Each of the 11 sites has been authorized to welcome fans. UEFA has confirmed that St. Petersburg and Baku will have up to 50 places; Budapest aims to host a full house; Amsterdam, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Rome and Seville will host 25 to 45 percent; London will have a minimum capacity of 25 percent; Munich aims to accommodate around 22% of the stadium’s capacity.

Which sites have been abandoned?

Dublin and Bilbao were taken off the host city list after refusing to give spectator guarantees, but Sevilla intervened for the latter while the Dublin matches went to London and St Petersburg.

How is UEFA feeling now?

Despite delays forced by the pandemic, UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has been optimistic, insisting that Euro 2020 will be safe.

“This will be the perfect opportunity to show the world that Europe is adapting. Europe is alive and celebrates life. Europe is back, ”he said recently.

Have any players tested positive?

Spanish captain Sergio Busquets tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday and left his training base. It comes after the Netherlands removed goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen from their squad due to a positive test.

Concerns about possible virus clusters have led UEFA to allow nations to nominate enlarged teams of 26 players.

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