Every major football tournament vows to create a once in a generation occasion – but this summer’s European Championships promises to be exactly that.
In a special edition of the tournament to commemorate its 60th anniversary, the 2020 Euros will be contested by 24 of the continent’s top international teams across 12 European cities.
A cloud of doubt now hangs above the Euros, however, with the coronavirus sweeping its way around the world and causing a host of sporting fixtures to be postponed or played behind closed doors.
Amid fears the tournament could be pushed back or cancelled, UEFA say they are in constant communication with local authorities around Europe. Officials from the organisation are keeping a close eye on developments, but for now they are planning for the tournament to proceed.
Here, Sportsmail gives you all the information you need ahead of this summer’s competition, which runs from June 12 to July 12…
Sportsmail tells you everything you need to know about the 2020 European Championships
How does the tournament work?
The tournament format in terms of qualification for the latter stages is exactly the same as Euro 2016.
The 24 teams are split into four groups of four, with the top two teams in each group qualifying for the last-16.
The remaining spots in the knockout stages go to the four third-placed teams with the highest number of points.
If two or more third-placed teams have the same number of points after all three group games, then the team with the highest goal difference progresses through to the next round.
Portugal are the reigning champions of the competition having won Euro 2016 in France
If goal difference cannot separate the teams, then the criteria goes as follows: goals scored, most wins in the tournament so far, fair play ranking, overall ranking after the European Qualifiers.
The same criteria applies for determining first and second place in the group.
If a knockout stage match is tied after 90 minutes then the normal routine of a 30 minute extra-time period (split into two 15 minute halves) takes place. A penalty shootout awaits the two teams if they cannot be separated after that.
Which European cities are hosting matches?
As mentioned above, the hosting of the 2020 Euros will be shared with 12 European cities.
That means tournament matches will be played across four different time zones and 4,000 miles of European land.
The majority of countries who qualified for the tournament were put in the group which their city is hosting. For example, England will be playing their group matches in London, Russia in St Petersburg, Germany in Munich and Italy in Rome.
This year will see the tournament played across 12 European cities, including two UK cities
Amsterdam, London, Budapest, Bilbao, Copenhagen, Bucharest, Dublin and Glasgow will stage the last-16 ties, while the remaining host cities – St Petersburg, Munich, Baku and Rome – will host the quarter-finals.
The semi-finals and the all-important final will be held at Wembley Stadium in London.
Below are a list of the twelve European host cities and the matches they will host:
Amsterdam – The Johan Cruyff Arena – home of Dutch champions Ajax – will host three group games and one last-16 match. It has a capacity of 54,000.
Baku – The Olympic Stadium, which hosted the 2019 Europa League final between Chelsea and Arsenal, will host three group games and one quarter-final. It has a capacity of 69,00.
The Olympic Stadium in Baku which hosted the 2019 Europa League final is a host venue
Bilbao – Athletic Bilbao stadium San Mames will host three group games and one last-16 match. It has a capacity of 53,000.
Bucharest – Romania’s national stadium, the Arena Nationala, will host three group games and one-last 16 match. It has a capacity of 54,000.
Budapest – The Puskas Arena is the newest stadium out of the 12 host arenas after it opened in November 2019. It will host three group games and one last-16 match and holds 68,000 people.
Hungary’s Puskas Stadium opened in late 2019 and is the newest host stadium out of the 12
Copenhagen – The Parken Stadium, home of FC Copenhagen, will host three group games and one last-16 match. It holds 38,000 people and also has a retractable roof.
Dublin – The Aviva Stadium, home of Ireland’s national football and rugby teams, will host three group games and one last-16 match. It has a capacity of 51,000.
Glasgow – Hampden Park, which stages Scotland national team matches and the country’s domestic cup finals, will be used for three group games and one last-16 match. It holds 51,000 spectators.
London – Wembley Stadium is the largest ground being used for Euro 2020 and it will host three group games, one last-16 match, both semi-finals and the final itself. It has a capacity of 90,000 and is England’s national stadium.
London’s Wembley Stadium will host both semi-finals and the Euro 2020 final
Munich – The Allianz Arena, home of German giants Bayern Munich, will host three group games and one quarter-final. It has a capacity of 70,000.
Rome – The Stadio Olimpico in the Italian capital will host three group games, including the opening game of the tournament, and one quarter-final. AS Roma and Lazio’s stadium has a capacity of 68,000.
St Petersburg – The Kreztovysky stadium, which hosted France and Belgium’s World Cup semi-final in 2018, will host three group games and one quarter-final. It has a capacity of 61,000.
Who has qualified?
Twenty out of the twenty-four teams have already secured their place at this summer’s European Championships.
Reigning champions Portugal qualified along with beaten 2016 finalists France. England and Wales made it through to the group stage as did Germany, Spain and Croatia.
Italy also made the tournament after not qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Finland, who qualified from the same group as the Italians, will be playing in their first ever major tournament.
Gareth Southgate’s England qualified for the tournament after cruising through their group
However, there are four spaces still up for grabs in March’s Euro 2020 play-offs.
The teams that finished in third place in their qualifying group, or won their Nations League group back in 2018, have been split into four ‘paths’ where they will play a semi-final and a final to determine who plays in the summer tournament.
Scotland, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland are looking to join England and Wales in the tournament proper – but not all of them can qualify.
Below are the list of the tournament groups consisting of the qualified teams, followed by the play-off paths.
Euro 2020 Group Stage
Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales
Group B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland
Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, (One team from Path A/D)
Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, (One team from Path C)
Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, (One team from Path B)
Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, (One team from path A/D)
Scotland and John McGinn (above) are looking to qualify for the Euros through the play-offs
Path A: Iceland, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania
Path B: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Slovakia, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland
Path C: Scotland, Norway, Serbia, Israel
Path D: Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Belarus
What time are the matches taking place?
The 2020 Euros begin on June 12 as Italy take on Turkey for the opening group match of the tournament. The group stages end on June 24.
The knockout stages start on June 27, with the last-16 ties carrying on until June 30. The quarter-finals are played on July 3 and July 4, with the London semi-finals played on July 7 and July 8.
The final at Wembley will be played on July 12 at 8pm BST.
With Wembley a regular venue for Euro 2020, both England and Southgate have an advantage
Below are a full list of the matches and their timings:
Friday 12 June Group A: Turkey v Italy (21:00, Rome)
Saturday 13 June Group A: Wales v Switzerland (15:00, Baku) Group B: Denmark v Finland (18:00, Copenhagen) Group B: Belgium v Russia (21:00, St Petersburg)
Sunday 14 June Group D: England v Croatia (15:00, London) Group C: Austria v Play-off winner D or A (18:00, Bucharest) Group C: Netherlands v Ukraine (21:00, Amsterdam)
England will be hoping for World Cup revenge in their opening group match against Croatia
Monday 15 June Group D: Play-off winner C v Czech Republic (15:00, Glasgow) Group E: Poland v Play-off winner B (18:00, Dublin)Group E: Spain v Sweden (21:00, Bilbao)
Tuesday 16 June Group F: Play-off winner A or D v Portugal (18:00, Budapest) Group F: France v Germany (21:00, Munich)
Wednesday 17 June Group B: Finland v Russia (15:00, St Petersburg) Group A: Turkey v Wales (18:00, Baku) Group A: Italy v Switzerland (21:00, Rome)
Ryan Giggs’ Wales will play their first two Euro 2020 games against Switzerland and Turkey
Thursday 18 June Group C: Ukraine v Play-off winner D or A (15:00, Bucharest) Group B: Denmark v Belgium (18:00, Copenhagen) Group C: Netherlands v Austria (21:00, Amsterdam)
Friday 19 June Group E: Sweden v Play-off winner B (15:00, Dublin) Group D: Croatia v Czech Republic (18:00, Glasgow) Group D: England v Play-off winner C (21:00, London)
Saturday 20 June Group F: Play-off winner A or D v France (15:00, Budapest)Group F: Portugal v Germany (18:00, Munich) Group E: Spain v Poland (21:00, Bilbao)
Sunday 21 June Group A: Italy v Wales (18:00, Rome) Group A: Switzerland v Turkey (18:00, Baku)
Gareth Bale and co then face Italy in their final group match on June 21 in Rome
Monday 22 June Group C: Play-off winner D or A v Netherlands (18:00, Amsterdam) Group C: Ukraine v Austria (18:00, Bucharest) Group B: Russia v Denmark (21:00, Copenhagen) Group B: Finland v Belgium (21:00, St Petersburg)
Tuesday 23 June Group D: Czech Republic v England (21:00, London) Group D: Croatia v Play-off winner C (21:00, Glasgow)
Wednesday 24 June Group E: Play-off winner B v Spain (18:00, Bilbao) Group E: Sweden v Poland (18:00, Dublin) Group F: Germany v Play-off winner A or D (21:00, Munich) Group F: Portugal v France (21:00, Budapest)
2016 finalists France and Portugal are in the same group and face each other on June 24
Saturday 27 June Last 16 1: 2A v 2B (18:00, Amsterdam) Last-16 2: 1A v 2C (21:00, London)
Sunday 28 June Last 16 3: 1C v 3D/E/F (18:00, Budapest) Last-16 4: 1B v 3A/D/E/F (21:00, Bilbao)
Monday 29 June Last-16 5 2D v 2E (18:00, Copenhagen) Last-16 6: 1F v 3A/B/C (21:00, Bucharest)
Tuesday 30 June Last-16 7: 1D v 2F (18:00, Dublin) Last-16 8: 1E v 3A/B/C/D (21:00, Glasgow)
Will Leroy Sane (third left) and Germany reach the latter stages after a torrid 2018 World Cup?
Friday 3 July Quarter-final 1: Winner 6 v Winner 5 (18:00, St Petersburg) Quarter-final 2: Winner 4 v Winner 2 (21:00, Munich)
Saturday 4 July Quarter-final 3: Winner 3 v Winner 1 (18:00, Baku) Quarter-final 4: Winner 8 v Winner 7 (21:00, Rome)
Tuesday 7 July Semi Final 1: Winner QF2 v Winner QF1 (21:00, London)
Virgil Van Dijk’s Holland are many people’s dark horses to impress in this summer’s tournament
Wednesday 8 July Semi-Final F2: Winner QF4 v Winner QF3 (21:00, London)
Sunday 12 July Final: Winner SF1 v Winner SF2 (21:00, London)
What do the odds say?
With the majority of their potential matches at Wembley, England have been placed as favourites (9/2) to lift their first ever European Championship trophy.
England are the bookies’ favourites to win Euro 2020 and will look to Raheem Sterling for goals
If Gareth Southgate’s side make it all their way to the final, they will play all but one match at their usual north London home.
World champions France are joint second favourites (5/1) alongside Belgium, while the Netherlands are third favourites at 6/1.
Spain (15/2), Germany (8/1) and Italy (10/1) are all ahead of reigning champions Portugal (14/1) while World Cup finalists Croatia sit at (22/1).
France, who have Antoine Griezmann up front, are second favourites to win the competition
Roberto Mancini’s Italy team are outsiders to become Euro 2020 champions this summer
HOW CORONAVIRUS HAS HIT THE WORLD OF SPORT SO FAR
2020 OLYMPIC GAMES
The scale of the outbreak in Japan saw senior International Olympic Committee member Dick Pound describe the disease as ‘the new war’ threatening Tokyo 2020 and he warned the Games may have to be cancelled if the virus was still around by May.
Olympic organisers told athletes to train as normal with no decision on cancellation
The Japanese government later insisted Pound’s comments were not the IOC’s official stance but there remains doubts over whether the summer showcase can still go ahead with health concerns.
Athletes have been told to keep training and the plan remains to hold the Games in Japan as planned but training for around 80,000 volunteers has been delayed for at least two months- it was due to begin on February 22.
World Athletics Indoor Championships (March 13-15 in Nanjing) is off until 2021.
The World Athletics Indoor Championships in Nanjing, China, has been postponed due to concerns over the danger of the coronavirus and its ability to spread
North Korea cancelled the Pyongyang Marathon scheduled for April after imposing a border lockdown due to the level of outbreak in South Korea.
The Seoul Marathon is cancelled in a bid to protect runners following the mass outbreak in South Korea.
The Paris half-marathon is canceled and the French government also decided to ban all indoor public gatherings of more than 5,000 people.
The race involving some 44,000 competitors was scheduled for Sunday (March 1) in the French capital city. Organizers said the race will be postponed to a date yet to be determined.
The Barcelona marathon scheduled for March 15 has been postponed until October to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Barcelona’s city hall said in a statement.
A mixed relay Olympic triathlon qualification event scheduled for Chengdu, China in May is moved to Valencia, pending an outbreak in Spain.
German Open (March 3-8), Vietnam Open (March 24-29) and Polish Open (March 26-29), all Olympic qualifying events, are cancelled due to ‘strict health protection’.
Olympic boxing qualifiers to be staged in Wuhan were cancelled by the International Olympic Committee, and now are relocated to occur in Amman from March 3-11
The IBF title fight between Daniele Scardina and Andrew Francillette in Milan on February 28 was postponed by Matchroom due to restrictions in Italy following the outbreak.
The Japanese boxing commission cancelled all fight cards scheduled for March on government advice to suspend all pending sporting fixtures. They will not be rescheduled.
England players will not be shaking hands on their tour of Sri Lanka and will use fist bumps instead.
Danish cyclist Michael Morkov has been cleared to race at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships after being kept in isolation over fears of an outbreak of coronavirus.
Morkov, 34, had travelled to Berlin on Thursday after contesting the first four stages of the UAE Tour, the final two stages of which were then cancelled after two members of staff on the race were suspected of having the disease.
Riders and staff on the UAE Tour have been in lockdown since but, after the Abu Dhabi Department of Health issued a statement on Saturday saying 167 tests had come back negative, the UCI said Morkov was free to race as normal.
Danish cyclist Michael Morkov was tested for coronavirus after being put in isolation
All domestic fixtures at all levels are postponed by the Chinese Football Association as the season is pushed back due to the scale of the outbreak in China.
Asian Champions League matches involving Guangzhou Evergrande, Shanghai Shenhua and Shanghai SIPG are postponed until April.
The start of the Korean K-League season is postponed. The four teams in the AFC Champions League are playing their matches behind closed doors.
Ludogorets players were taking no chances after the coronavirus outbreak in Italy
Japan’s J-League postponed all domestic games until the middle of March.
Inter Milan’s game against Sampdoria was one of four Serie A games cancelled last weekend due to affected regions in Italy leading to advice from the prime minister to call off sporting events.
Serie A then announced on Saturday that five of the weekend’s fixtures, including the title showdown between Juventus and Inter Milan, have been cancelled.
The Coppa Italia match between Napoli and Inter Milan on Thursday became the latest fixture to be called off, when it was postponed indefinitely. It was the 12th game to be postponed since the crisis began and the third involving Inter Milan.
An update from sports minister Vincenzo Spadafora later confirmed all the upcoming Serie A fixtures for the weekend commencing March 7,8, would be played behind closed doors.
In France, the Ligue 1 game between RC Strasbourg and champions Paris St Germain was postponed on Friday.
It was the first Ligue 1 game to be postponed, with Strasbourg’s Alsace region one of the worst hit by the coronavirus in France, where 613 cases and nine deaths have been reported.
The home leg of the Chinese women’s national team’s Olympic qualification play-off against South Korea set for March is switched to Sydney. The squad are held in quarantine upon their arrival in Australia for January’s qualifying group stage due to fears of virus carriers.
Inter Milan’s Europa League match against Ludogorets on February 27 will be played behind closed doors. Only TV rights-holders are allowed to attend as media as the club look to secure the San Siro. Ludogorets players arrived in Italy wearing face masks.
Serie A announced five matches on February 28-March 1 will be played behind closed doors, including Juventus v Inter Milan in Turin, a huge match between title rivals.
Newcastle United have banned their players from shaking hands with each other amid coronavirus fears.
Three players from third-division Italian football club US Pianese have tested positive for coronavirus, the Tuscany side confirmed on Friday.
England’s friendly against Italy at Wembley in March is now in doubt as the FA holds crisis talks following the outbreak in northern Italy.
Israel has warned citizens to avoid all international travel, which raises questions whether supporters or players will travel to Scotland for their Euro 2020 play-off match on March 26.
Growing concerns that some matches at Euro 2020 could be called off if the coronavirus outbreak gets worse between now and the summer. The tournament is set to be multi-city. UEFA admit they are in a ‘waiting stage’ and must follow the orders of the individual countries involved. However, FA Chairman Greg Clarke has stated that he expects the tournament to go ahead.
Premier League games are ‘likely’ to be played behind closed doors ‘in the coming weeks’ over coronavirus fears, Everton board member Sasha Ryazantsev has warned, in line with the action taken in Serie A.
The Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai on April 19 is postponed with no decision over whether it will be reinserted into the 2020 calendar for later in the season.
The Bahrain Grand Prix, scheduled for March 20-22, is to take place behind closed doors.
The Chinese GP was first to be cancelled and other races could yet follow that lead
The Australian Grand Prix will go ahead despite an emergency response plan being enacted across the country to deal with the virus. The chief executive of the tourism council says that Victoria cannot afford for the event to be cancelled.
There are growing concerns over whether the inaugural Vietnam Grand Prix (scheduled to take place in Hanoi on April 5) will go ahead.
The Women’s Amateur Asia-Pacific golf championship, slated to take place from February 12-15 in Thailand, was postponed and has been rescheduled for October.
The Honda LPGA Thailand event in Pattaya, Thailand scheduled for February 20-23 along with the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore, scheduled to start on February 27, were both postponed
The PGA Tour Series-China postponed two qualifying tournaments and delayed the start of its 2020 campaign by two months, cutting the number of regular season events down from 14 to 10.
The decision was made to cancel the LPGA Blue Bay tournament in China, with the event at Hainan Island (due to start on March 5) seen as dangerous to players’ health
The European Tour postponed the Maybank Championship (April 16-19 in Kuala Lumpur) and Volvo China Open (April 23-26 in Shenzhen).
Lorenzo Gagli and Edoardo Molinari were withdrawn from the Oman Open on medical grounds after Gagli showed symptoms of the virus. He shared a hotel room with Molinari and he was told to self-isolate. They were later reinstated to the tournament after testing negative for the virus.
The Japan Racing Association revealed that ‘government-sanctioned races’ will go behind closed doors.
Two race meetings in France next week are to take place behind closed doors in a response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Monday’s jumps card and the Wednesday fixture on the Flat at Compiegne will have no paying customers, with the order coming from the mayor of the town and the president of the Compiegne Racing Society.
Cheltenham festival is in doubt as organisers set up a steering group to consider the danger posed by the virus, just 13 days prior to the prestigious Gold Cup event
The Cheltenham Festival is set to go ahead despite travel disruption caused by the virus
Scotland Women’s Six Nations match with Italy on February 23 is postponed due to an outbreak in the Milan area.
Ireland’s Six Nations meeting with Italy on March 7 is postponed.
Ospreys and Ulster’s Pro14 trips to play in Italy on February 29 are postponed. Ospreys were due to play Zebre in Parma with Treviso the venue for Ulster’s game against Benetton.
Ireland’s Six Nations encounter with Italy on March 7 has been postponed
The Italian Rugby Federation suspended its National Championship and youth games for February 28-March 1.
Hong Kong Rugby Sevens is postponed, which is a blow to Olympic preparations for Team GB.
England’s final Six Nations game against Italy is off ‘with the intention to reschedule it at a later date’. The same applies to the corresponding women’s and U20s fixtures. All were due to be played on March 13-15.
Scottish rugby announced preparations ‘continue as normal’ as they discuss with French rugby whether to proceed with their Six Nations match on March 8 following a second coronavirus death in France.
All of Italy’s remaining Six Nations fixtures – they are due to host England in their final game on March 14 – are in serious doubt given the scale of the outbreak in Italy.
Fears of the virus spreading then prompted ITV to abandon plans to send commentators and pundits out to Rome for England’s game against Italy in Rome.
The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells in California, set to start on March 9, was postponed at the eleventh hour. It came after a confirmed case of the coronavirus in the nearby Coachella Valley.
The final of an ATP Challenger event in Bergamo, Italy, between Enzo Couacaud and Illya Marchenko of Ukraine is cancelled. Both players received ranking points and prize money for getting to the final. They were denied the opportunity to play behind closed doors.
China forfeited a Davis Cup tie because the men’s team were unable to travel to Romania for the March 6-7 playoff.
WTA event Xi’an Open (set for April 13-19) is cancelled due to fears over player safety. WTA announced they are assessing their schedule with a number of events set for China in the second half of the season.
Japan’s home Davis Cup tie against Ecuador next week is now set to be played behind closed doors.
Players will be banned from handing their towels to ball-kids at next week’s BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, organisers said on Friday.
WTA event Kunming Open is considered for cancellation after Xi’an Open was called off. It is due to start on April 27.
MotoGP have cancelled their first two races of the season in Qatar and Thailand. Moto2 and Moto3 will though run in Qatar though as they were already based at the track for pre-season testing.
Cycling’s United Arab Emirates Tour has been cancelled with Chris Froome tested for coronavirus and Mark Cavendish put into lockdown in his hotel room.
South Korean baseball league cancelled all 50 pre-season game which were slated to take place from March 14-24. It is the first time since the leagues inception in 1982 that an entire set of exhibition matches are off.
The first-stage draw for the Table Tennis World Championships, scheduled for South Korea from March 22-29, is postponed.
A beach volleyball tournament, due to be held in Yangzhou from April 22-26, is postponed until after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
World Short track speed skating championship in Seoul is cancelled.
Next month’s World Triathlon Series event in Abu Dhabi was postponed on Saturday as a precautionary measure.
The event was due to take place from March 5 to March 7 in the city, which has reported new cases of the virus.
Event organisers said they still hoped to reschedule the event to take place later in March or April.
The Women’s World Ice Hockey Championships, scheduled for Canada later this month, have been cancelled.
The championships were set to begin on March 31 and continue until April 10 with games in Halifax and Truro, Canada.
All 72 pre-season baseball games in Japan are to take place behind closed doors
The Japanese professional baseball league made the decision to play their 72 pre-season games behind closed doors until March 15. Baseball is among the most popular sports in Japan.
In an aid to decrease risks of exposure to the virus, the NBA have told players to avoid taking items such as pens, markers, balls and jerseys from autograph seekers.
The South Korean baseball league regular season is in doubt ahead of the first round of matches on March 28. An emergency meeting has been called.
Doubts remain as the Asian weightlifting championships, scheduled for March, are relocated from Kazakhstan to neighbouring Uzbekistan. They could still be postponed.