The Aviva Stadium, Dublin has today been accepted as one of the hosts for Euro 2020. It is a historic day for Irish football and Irish sport in general as Ireland is set to host its first ever major football tournament, alongside twelve other European cities.
Dublin will host four matches altogether, including three group games as well as a last 16 tie. Should Ireland qualify for the tournament then they will be guaranteed two group games in Dublin. It’s all wishful thinking at the moment but if Ireland do make it to the tournament and get out of their group however, the last 16 tie will not be guaranteed to be held in the Aviva Stadium.
The final and semi-finals will be played in Wembley, London whilst Ireland’s other close neighbours, Scotland will also host three group games and a last 16 clash in Glasgow.
The drawing of the groups for the qualified teams will take on a new consideration in light of the competition being spread across the continent. There will still be seeding for every country but considerations will also be taken into account for the distances from one host city to the next. Uefa.com states that
“for example, and where feasible, flights would not exceed two hours’ duration between host cities to allow easy access to travelling fans.”
So a lot to look forward to and ponder for the next six years whilst we wait to see if Ireland have first of all qualified and secondly who will be playing their group games and last 16 clash in the Capital. This is a massive opportunity for Irish football to showcase itself to not only onlookers from Europe but worldwide.
This also gives the qualifying campaign, which begins in 2018 a different outlook as well as a massive motivation for Ireland’s next generation of players to qualify with two of their group games being played in front of a home crowd.
Rob Lyons, Pundit Arena.
Featured image By Hoops341 (Own work) [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.