UEFA Announce Euro 2020 Aviva Dates

By David Prendeville

Photo of Aviva Stadium courtesy of Stadium Database.

UEFA have officially announced the dates for June 2020 in which the Aviva Stadium will play host to the European Championships. The Dublin 4 arena was one of 12 venues chosen for the major international competition in two years time.

The Aviva will host three group games and one last 16 tie. By comparison, Wembley is playing host to seven matches, while Scotland’s Hampden Park will, like the Aviva, see four games played there.

The group games will take place on Monday June 15th, Friday June 19th and Wednesday June 24th. The knockout game is scheduled for Tuesday June 30th.

Should Ireland qualify for the competition, they will play three of their group games in their home stadium. The format for qualifying has been slightly altered by the introduction of the UEFA Nations League. Twenty teams will qualify the conventional route through their groups with the top two in each group and four best-placed third teams qualifying. The other four teams will qualify in the altered play-offs, which are now selected based on the teams’ successes in the UEFA Nations League.

FAI chief John Delaney has said the Aviva’s hosting of the games: “will comprise the single biggest international event hosted in Ireland.” He went on to say that “it allows us to showcase Irish football, the Aviva Stadium, the city of Dublin and the country as a whole.”

Dublin will also host the televised draw for the 2020 qualifying groups on December 2nd.The event will be held in the convention centre and delegates of all 55 UEFA member nations will attend.

It would be a major boost to the country should Ireland qualify and would ensure a very memorable summer in 2020. Ireland failed to qualify for the scintillating action in Russia this year after losing 5-1 to Denmark in the play-off in November.

Concerns remain that we have an ageing squad that would struggle. However, some hope has been offered recently with Clare-born teenage centreback Ryan Nolan making his debut for Italian powerhouse Inter Milan in a pre-season friendly. There was also news that new West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini rates Ireland under 21, player of the year, Josh Cullen and plans for him to be involved with the first team next season.

Liverpool also have an Irish teenager on their books, with Conor Masterson making the bench for the Champions League semi-final last season.