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Sports

UEFA betting on Euro 2020 success despite challenge of pandemic

  • Following the unprecedented decision to postpone the competition in March last year at the start of the pandemic, the health crisis is not over and Covid-19 will continue to cast a shadow over this European Championship.
Published June 1, 2021

PARIS: The pan-European format has been derided, the tournament postponed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, host cities have been dropped and matches moved, but Euro 2020 finally gets underway next week when Italy face Turkey in Rome on Friday, June 11.

Following the unprecedented decision to postpone the competition in March last year at the start of the pandemic, the health crisis is not over and Covid-19 will continue to cast a shadow over this European Championship.

However, five years after Portugal overcame an injury to Cristiano Ronaldo to defeat France and win Euro 2016 in Paris, and three years after the French won the World Cup in Russia, anticipation in Europe is now building towards another major tournament summer.

There is no shortage of candidates among the 24 nations, not least France as they look to repeat their feat of two decades ago, when they followed winning the 1998 World Cup with victory at Euro 2000.

That this Euro is taking place in 11 cities across 11 different countries is down to a Frenchman -- it was the "zany" idea of Michel Platini during his time as president of UEFA.

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