The 2020 European Championship was postponed due to the outbreak of COVID-19. However, the tournament was rescheduled for 2021 and thanks to the protocols in place across the continent, we have an international tournament to enjoy.

The event is taking place across the 12 cities as planned, with a few changes due to some cities being unable to guarantee spectators at matches. Therefore, Dublin, which was due to host four matches were removed and the three group games were allocated to the Krestovsky Stadium in Saint Petersburg. The knockout stage match due to be played at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin was given to Wembley Stadium in London. The San Mamés in Bilbao was also due to host four games during the tournament but they have been switched to La Cartuja in Seville.

Obviously, there was disappointment among the local fans who were hoping to attend European Championship games in Dublin and Bilbao. This may have left a bitter taste in the mouth of Spanish fans who were planning on watching games in Bilbao but even if the matches had remained in the city, spectators would have been prevented from entering the stadium.

In terms of a sporting contest, there has been plenty of good football. No one can doubt the commitment of the players to win for their country and we have seen some great games. The passion shown by the Danish team following the collapse of Christian Eriksen and their victory over Russia was brilliant to see and they were cheered on by fans inside the Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, all be it at 67% capacity.

Online bookmakers have been running the usual promotions during the tournament to get the fans involved. Free bet offers have been available at many of the major online bookies and fans have been taking advantage of the promotions to back their country. The fact thousands of fans have been unable to travel to watch their country play may have had an impact on sports betting but it could swing in one of two ways. Not being able to attend matches may make some fans feel disconnected from the tournament and result in them not betting as often on games as they would normally. On the other hand, having to stay at home means fans may be more tempted to have a bet on the European Championship due to the fact they have more time on their hands than they would if travelling to watch matches.

There has been plenty of drama on the pitch, with the story surrounding Denmark, Scotland’s draw with England, and France, Germany, and Portugal being in the same group. Heading into the knockout stages and this is where things really start to get interesting. It is a shame stadiums are not going to be at full capacity but 12 months ago we were seeing big club matches played across Europe in empty stadiums and progress has been made.

So, it would be unfair to say the Euros have been underwhelming and the majority of football fans are simply happy the tournament is being played.


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