The upcoming continental championship will already be special in two facts. Euro 2020 will be a celebration of the unity of the entire European football family. In honor of the sixtieth anniversary of the first European Championships, the UEFA Executive Committee decided to hold the tournament not in a single country, two states, but in different cities of the Old World. In September 2014, out of 19 applications, the cities and stadiums that will host Euro meetings were identified:
- London Wembley;
- Alliance Arena - home stadium of FC Bavaria;
- Olympic Stadium in Baku;
- Roman Olympic Stadium;
- Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg;
- Bucharest National Stadium;
- Aviva in Dublin;
- Parken in the capital of Denmark;
- Ferenc Puskas from Budapest;
- Queens Park Scottish Club Hampden Park Arena;
- San Mamez in Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain;
- Johan Cruyff Arena - Ajax Stadium Amsterdam.
Another distinguishing feature of the European Championship is the absence of a specific host of the match. Thus, no country will receive an automatic place in the final part.
UEFA European Football Association national teams enter a new selection cycle for the main tournament of the continent. In the main city of the Republic of Ireland, Dublin, on December 2 this year, the draw for the qualifying tournament of the European Football Championship 2020 was held.
The conference center in Dublin gathered 650 guests, of which 300 delegates were representatives of national federations. The hype surrounding the event will be created by 350 media representatives. The broadcast from Dublin was watched by an audience of 140 million people.
The draw of the European Championship 2020 is a responsible and important process. UEFA Secretary General F. Marchetti is playing the lead role in controlling the process. The fate of the national teams was decided by four players: the eminent Portuguese goalkeeper Victor Baia and striker Nuno Gomes, famous players of the Irish national team R. Whelan and R. Keane.
A grand opening took place in front of the main part of the event. The hosts of the event showed traditional Irish dances. Ricardo Carvalho appeared on the scene. In the past, the defender of the Portuguese national team, Chelsea clubs and Real Madrid have made the European Cup.
55 football teams are ready to start in the selection. But first, the draw must go. Due to the fact that in the 18th year a new championship of the League of Nations started, draw baskets were formed based on the results shown by the teams.
Four finalists of the new tournament are located in a separate basket. They will fall into the qualifying groups with five teams. Further, according to the rating and results, the teams were distributed in six baskets.
This is not to say that the results of the draw suited the delegates of the teams. At the head of the ten groups will be the four finalists of the League of Nations and the six strongest national team ratings.
Teams from baskets 2, 3, 4, 5 took their positions one by one. The draw ended with the distribution of basket 6 with the weakest teams.
Fans were waiting for the end of the draw to find out who Russia will play with. Our team at the time of the draw took 17th place in the League of Nations ranking and ended up in the second seeding basket. This automatically meant that competitors would get a strong team. It turned out to be Belgium.
Representatives who supplemented this group were:
- The Scottish team is a likely rival to the Russian team;
- Republic of Cyprus;
- San Marino is an outsider.
Russia, as the team that entered the top eight according to the results of the Mundial 2018, should leave this group. Moreover, the first and second place of the group go directly to the final round of the European Championship 2020.
Of the other draw results, the composition of groups B and D is interesting. Here were three teams that will simultaneously participate in the butt games of the League of Nations in the spring of 2020. Group B united Portugal, Ukraine and Serbia. Quintet D will be played by Ireland, Denmark and Switzerland. Victory in the group of one of these teams gives a chance to get a ticket to the next team from the League of Nations rating.
In all groups after the draw, a possible leader and team that will fight for the second ticket can be noted. Although, as past qualifiers show, surprises happen.
Surprises can be expected in group E. Here are the football teams of Croatia, Wales, Slovakia, Hungary and Azerbaijan. Croatia, as the finalist of the 2018 World Cup, does not look like a clear favorite. A serious fight is planned for reaching the final round.
A decent line-up of participants was selected in group J. The national teams of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Greece, Armenia and Liechtenstein joined the four-time world and 1964 European champions. Given the not quite even results of the Azzurra Squadra, the fight will be serious.
The French, who recently won the 2018 World Cup, will compete with Icelandic, Albanian, Turkish, Moldavian, Andorran footballers in the sextet H. Germany in group C will get a chance to get even with their offenders for the Netherlands League matches. The remaining teams (Northern Ireland, Estonia, Belarus) are more likely to act as extras.
In group A and F, the favorites are the teams of England and Spain, respectively. An equal fight should be expected in the company of group G. Austria, Israel, Slovenia, Macedonia, Latvia joined the company in the Poles.
The selection for Euro 2020 will last a little over a year until the beginning of 2020.