UEFA European Football Championship is also popularly called European Championship. It happens to be the football tournament contested by the senior men’s national teams who happens to be members of the Union of European Football Associations to determine who will be Europe’s continental champion.
The competition is held every four years since its inauguration in 1960, quite similar to the World Cup tournaments which are also held every four years. Before now, the tournament was called European Nations’ Cup before it was changed to European Football Championship in 1968. Since 1996, the format for each tournament’s name has been “UEFA Euro [year]” which is still retroactively applied to date.
Before entering the tournament, all teams will have to pass through a qualifying process, excluding the host nations who qualify automatically. Until 2016, the year’s tournament champions could compete in the FIFA Confederation Cup holding the year that follows, but were not compiled to do so.
Since the inauguration of the tournament in 1960, there have been 15 European Championship Tournament won by ten national teams: France had won two championships, Spain and Germany have won three titles, Italy, Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Netherland, Portugal, and Greece have won one title each. Spain is the only team in the tournament’s history to have won two consecutive titles in 2008 and 2012. The European Football Championship happens to be the second most-watched tournament in the world after the FIFA World Cup. The 2012 Championship recorded a global audience of around 300 million.
Before 1980, it was just four teams that qualified for the final tournament. But has time progressed, things changed has eight teams competed in 1980. From there, it spiked further up when the tournament exceeded to 16 teams, and since then, it has been easier for the European nation to compete at the World Cup than even their continental championship.
The European football championship has currently exceeded 24 teams implemented in 2016 by the UEFA’s executive committee, supported by Michel Platini, the new UEFA president.
The next UEFA European Championship was earlier scheduled from the 12 June – 12 July had to be postponed. This decision is has a result of the global Covid-19 pandemic. The tournament was postponed by a year. It will now commence from 12 June – 12 July 2021. Nevertheless, the tournament will still retain the name ”Euro Cup 2020″.