After a year long wait, the UEFA European Football Championship is nearly here. Euro 2020 was all set to kickstart a bumper summer of sport until the coronavirus intervened, which meant that UEFA delayed the tournament to the summer of 2021.
Here’s everything you need to know, including the fixtures, schedules, match locations and how to watch from where you’re based.
What is Euro 2021?
Euro 2021, otherwise known as the UEFA European Football Championship, is the 16th instalment of the men’s football tournament that has since 1960 taken place every four years.
Official branding means that this year’s tournament is called Euro 2020, despite taking place in 2021. However, most people are still referring to it as Euro 2021.
All 55 UEFA member states get a chance to qualify for in the event, but only 24 teams make it through to the final tournament. Euro 2020 was due to be played across June and July 2020, but ended up being delayed by a year due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Portugal are the defending champions from Euro 2016, but neither they or any of the countries in which matches are held gain automatic entry to the tournament.
Previous winners have included Spain (1964, 2008, 2012), Greece (2004), France (1984, 2000), Denmark (1992), Netherlands (1988), Germany (1972, 1980, 1996), the then Czechoslovakia (1976), Italy (1968) and the Soviet Union (1960), but never England. We came third back in 1968, and joint-third in 1996, so it’s time for England to bring it home.
When does Euro 2021 start?
There’s not long to wait now, as UEFA Euro 2021 will kick off on Friday 11 June 2021. The tournament will conclude on Sunday 11 July 2021 with the final match.
How to watch UEFA Euro 2021 in the UK
The BBC and ITV have announced that they will be sharing the broadcasting rights for Euro 2021. They will take turns in having the top picks for each round of fixtures, with both channels showing the final at Wembley Stadium.
The BBC is available on your TV, online via the BBC iPlayer website and through the iPlayer mobile apps on iOS and Android. Some fixtures may also be available to watch through the BBC Sport website.
Matches from the European Championships are typically shown on BBC One, but they may be on BBC Two or even BBC Four when matches are being played concurrently.
ITV is available on your TV, online on the ITV Hub website, or via the ITV Hub mobile apps for iOS and Android. You’ll also be able to watch ITV live using any Freeview app. Matches from the European Championships tend to be on the main channel, but they may also be on ITV4 from time to time.
To watch either channel live you will need a TV Licence. This applies even if you use BBC iPlayer to catch up, but you can still watch past broadcasts on the ITV Hub.
How to watch UEFA Euro 2021 from the US and abroad
For readers based in the US, you’ve got a couple of options for watching Euro 2021. You can watch games directly through ESPN and ABC, or stream them on the websites if you have the channels as part of your cable package. Alternatively, you can sign up for ESPN+, Sling or fuboTV.
If you’d like to watch both the BBC and ITV from outside of the UK, using a VPN is probably your best bet.
A VPN (or virtual private network) is software that lets you mask your IP address in order to appear as if you are somewhere you are not. So, you could be in Spain and pretend to be browsing from the UK, then access BBC or ITV services as normal.
We’ve reviewed a bunch of VPNs but our current top pick is NordVPN. Because streaming services are wise to the use of VPNs you might need to try a few different servers before you find one that works.
If you’d like to know more about the sign-up process, take a look at our guides on how to watch iPlayer abroad and how to watch the ITV Hub abroad.
Euro 2021 fixtures and schedule
Here’s the full schedule of the group stages, knockouts, quarter-finals, semi-finals and of course the all-important final. All times are in BST (British Summer Time), and include the location in which the match will be held.
In the first phase, the top two in each group plus four best third-placed teams go through to the knockout stages.
Friday 11 June
8pm: Turkey vs Italy (Rome)
Saturday 12 June
2pm: Wales vs Switzerland (Baku)5pm: Denmark vs Finland (Copenhagen)8pm: Belgium vs Russia (St Petersburg)
Sunday 13 June
2pm: England vs Croatia (London)5pm: Austria vs North Macedonia (Bucharest)8pm: Netherlands vs Ukraine (Amsterdam)
Monday 14 June
2pm: Scotland vs Czech Republic (Glasgow)5pm: Poland vs Slovakia (St Petersburg)8pm: Spain vs Sweden (Seville)
Tuesday 15 June
5pm: Hungary vs Portugal (Budapest)8pm: France vs Germany (Munich)
Wednesday 16 June
2pm: Finland vs Russia (St Petersburg)5pm: Turkey vs Wales (Baku)8pm: Italy vs Switzerland (Rome)
Thursday 17 June
2pm: Ukraine vs North Macedonia (Bucharest)5pm: Denmark vs Belgium (Copenhagen)8pm: Netherlands vs Austria (Amsterdam)
Friday 18 June
2pm: Sweden vs Slovakia (St Petersburg)5pm: Croatia vs Czech Republic (Glasgow)8pm: England vs Scotland (London)
Saturday 19 June
2pm: Hungary vs France (Budapest)5pm: Portugal vs Germany (Munich)8pm: Spain vs Poland (Seville)
Sunday 20 June
5pm: Italy vs Wales (Rome)5pm: Switzerland vs Turkey (Baku)
Monday 21 June
5pm: North Macedonia vs Netherlands (Amsterdam)5pm: Ukraine vs Austria (Bucharest)8pm: Russia vs Denmark (Copenhagen)8pm: Finland vs Belgium (St Petersburg)
Tuesday 22 June
8pm: Czech Republic vs England (London)8pm: Croatia vs Scotland (Glasgow)
Wednesday 23 June
5pm: Slovakia vs Spain (Seville)5pm: Sweden vs Poland (St Petersburg)8pm: Germany vs Hungary (Munich)8pm: Portugal v France (Budapest)
Saturday 26 June
5pm: 2A vs 2B (Amsterdam)8pm: 1A vs 2C (London)
Sunday 27 June
5pm: 1C vs 3D/E/F (Budapest)8pm: 1B vs 3A/D/E/F (Seville)
Monday 28 June
5pm: 2D vs 2E (Copenhagen)8pm: 1F vs 3A/B/C (Bucharest)
Tuesday 29 June
5pm: 1D vs 2F (London)8pm: 1E vs 3A/B/C/D (Glasgow)
Friday 2 July
5pm: Winner 6 vs Winner 5 (St Petersburg)8pm: Winner 4 vs Winner 2 (Munich)
Saturday 3 July
5pm: Winner 3 vs Winner 1 (Baku)8pm: Winner 8 vs Winner 7 (Rome)
Tuesday 6 July
8pm: Winner QF2 vs Winner QF1 (London)
Wednesday 7 July
8pm: Winner QF4 vs Winner QF3 (London)
Sunday 11 July
8pm: Winner SF1 vs Winner SF2 (London)
Where is Euro 2021 hosted?
There is no single destination for Euro 2021, with matches spread over different European. Then-UEFA President Michael Platini notes that this is to mark the 60th birthday of the tournament.
It is at London’s Wembley Stadium that the most important matches will be held, however, with the UK hosting both the semi-finals and final. Previously home to Euro 1996, this will be the second time Wembley has had the pleasure.
Other Euro 2021 hosts include:
Olympic Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy
Krestovsky Stadium, St Petersburg, Russia
Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
Puskas Arena, Budapest, Hungary
Johan Cruyff Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands
National Arena, Bucharest, Romania
Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland
Estadio de La Cartuja, Seville, Spain
Which football teams will compete in Euro 2021?
Out of 55 teams, 24 have qualified to make it through to the final tournament. These have then been split into six different groups, loosely based on how they performed in the qualifiers. Here’s the different groups and what countries are in them:
Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales
Group B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland
Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, North Macedonia
Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Scotland
Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, Slovakia
Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, Hungary
Some of the early favourites to win the competition are Belgium, France and Portugal – but anything could happen.