UEFA 2020 will go down the history for its uniqueness; the tournament was played in 2021 but retained its 2020 identifier following its postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When the pandemic hit, all activities that involve gatherings were postponed as governments across the world put up stringent measures that were supposed to curb the spread of the disease. It was not just the Euro Cup football fans who were affected, online sports betting Philippines and indeed across the world felt the effect of this postponement.
However, come 2021, the situation had changed, football was coming back to life, and teams were back on the pitch. The only difference was that the participation of the fans in the matches was limited as they were not allowed in the stadiums. For Euro 2020 it was a bit different, a sizeable audience was allowed in the pitch. The tournament saw the largest number of spectators since the start of the pandemic.
This was not the only unique thing about the tournament; Europe’s biggest football tournament had its highs and lows; the good, the bad, and the ugly when compared with previous events. Evelyn Balyton takes us through the Euro 2021; she explores the euro football winners and also delves on the past tournament with a brief highlight of what is transpiring in the Euro. Read through and get an insightful analysis that will help you in your sports betting endeavors.
What was different about the Euro 2020 tournament?
Apart from being postponed to the summer of 2021, the tournament also had some things happening which set it apart from the previous events.
- Strict COVID-19 rules were observed in all the matches
- More substitutions were allowed
- Video assistant referee was implemented for the first time
- A near tragedy hit the game when Denmark Captain Christian Eriksen collapsed in the field.
- Teams were allowed to expand their squads by four players
- Cooling breaks were allowed for the games which were played at a higher temperature
Euro 2020 winners
Italy lifted the cup after beating England, the team that many took as the favorite. The match was determined by a penalty shoot-out where England’s half-century wait for a major win was extended. This is Italy’s second win coming after a long wait. Italy had won the European Championship in 1968 where they were the hosts and also were participating in the tournament for the first time. Their other good performances were in football euro 2012 and 2000 where they finished as the runner-up. Italy’s win almost rhymed the match played five years earlier when Spain, who won Euro 2008 after beating Germany, a strong side that many expected to win the UEFA Euro 2008.
It was also similar to Euro 2016 results where Portugal beat France, again the favorites in penalty shoot-outs. The Euro 2020 football results shocked many, fans and betting fraternity alike, most had come in with a mentality that England will take the cup but they were all disappointed when the favorites lost through a penalty shoot-out. England’s loss was devastating; fans were dejected with most of the social media outlets being bombarded with sentiments that exposed an ugly side of the football and English fans.
With the EURO 2021 win, Italy is almost joining the league of most successful teams in Europe, Spain, and Germany. Germany and Spain have won the title three times but the Euro 2021 saw the teams leave early. German performance in the tournament shocked many fans; they did not expect the team to leave so early. Many see the dismal performance of the team as a direct result of their position. The team was placed in the group of death where they were almost eliminated at the group stage. Another team that recorded a poor show in the tournament was France; the team was also eliminated early in the tournament.
The bad and ugly
England which was seen as the favorite had a good performance throughout the competition. With this performance, many had hoped that they would lift the cup. The atmosphere in England was anticipatory; fans were waiting for the cup to come “Home.” When this did not happen disappointment was registered all over, in the streets, in the houses, social media, and everywhere.
Things were to turn ugly when the player who missed the penalties was attacked on social media. The racists’ slurs that dominated social media for the better part of the week brought out the ugly side of football and more so the English fans. Before this incident, Rashford and other English players of black descent were seen as heroes but after the final game, all manner of racist remarks were made against them. This is an ugly incident that many are hoping to come to an end.
Many have urged the fans and the football authority to see an end to this with calls for future euro cup tournaments to have a different tone. This incidence will now bring into scrutiny the action which has almost become a pre-match ritual, “taking the knee”, it will have no meaning if the fans are not toned down. Future tournaments should see the fans who behave in this manner even if it is on social media taken action.
Euro 2021 will go down the history as an eventful event, the COVID-19 restrictions, the great performance of the England team, and their humiliating defeat at the last minute among other events make an event that saw Italy get their second win after waiting for fifty-three years unique. Will they have to wait for that long to win the next title? Only time will tell!