Special report: Euro 2020 organisers and partners seek triumph over repeated adversities

10 June 2021

EURO 2021
Photo: Alamy Players of Portugal celebrate scoring during the Euro 2016 final football match between Portugal and France in Paris, France, July 10, 2016. Portugal won the tournament after winning the game 1-0.

A tournament without a host, delayed by a year and at times which seemed doomed, finally kicks off today, but both UEFA and sponsors hope that it marks the start of a return to normal.

UEFA predicting lost revenues of €180 million versus previous edition of the tournament, mostly from lost ticket revenue, but sponsors tells there has been a spirit of understanding after unique challenges of the past 16 months.

Euro 2020 CEO: “There has been a lot of administration, a lot of legal work, but we can say that everybody has played the game and done their utmost to get us to a position where EURO 2020 can begin."

James Corbett corbett@offthepitch.com

When Italy face Turkey later today in Euro 2020’s first match, a tournament requiring both a leap in time and imagination finally kicks off.

At times the tournament has seemed entirely doomed. First, it was one without a host. Turkey, originally the sole bidder, was forced to stand aside on account of its failed 2020 Olympic bid, with two sporting megaevents in such close proximity deemed beyond a single host (Turkey ended up with neither).

Do you want to read this article?

Get instant access by signing up for a 7-day free trial

No credit card, no commitments and it will expire automatically.

You will receive a link that activates your trial in an email.