How often is the Euros? Scheduling of UEFA European Championship tournament explained ahead of 2024 edition

The UEFA European Championship, more commonly referred to as the Euros, is arguably the second most-watched international football tournament in the world, trailing only the FIFA World Cup.

The thrilling competition has a rich history, so it’s no surprise that millions of fans tune in to watch it when it rolls around. But just how often does the Euros take place?

Ahead of the 2024 edition this summer, which takes place in Germany, The Sporting News has the answer.

How often is the Euros played?

The UEFA European Championship, also known as the Euros, is on a quadrennial cycle and is played every four years.

Since its inception in France in the summer of 1960, it has been held every four years for the last 16 editions.

The only exception to that rule was UEFA Euro 2020. That tournament was scheduled to be on the usual four-year gap after Euro 2016, but it was played one year later, in 2021, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Why is the Euros every four years?

The UEFA European Championship is held every four years due to the extensive qualification process and its even-numbered cycle with the FIFA World Cup tournaments.

The qualifying process for the Euros involves a large number of qualification games, designed to give every nation a fair shot at making it to the finals, and the qualification usually kicks in immediately after the most recent FIFA World Cup wraps up.

To put it into context, a total of 53 UEFA member associations entered the Euro 2024 qualifying process, which was a congested affair, with 10 matchdays played from March 2023 to November 2023, after the Qatar 2022 World Cup was moved to last winter.

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In the case of Euro 2016, though, qualification for that was played from September 2014 to November 2015, with 23 teams battling it out to join automatically qualified hosts France in the final tournament.

Why was the last Euros in 2021?

Euro 2020 took place in 2021— a year later than it was originally planned— due to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic during that year. That led to the postponement of the tournament to June and July 2021, albeit UEFA decided to stick with the original UEFA Euro 2020 name to save on fresh merchandise and branding.

When is the next European Championship?

This upcoming 2024 edition of the tournament will end with the final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on Sunday, July 14, 2024, so when is the next one?

The next iteration of European Championship will likely take place in June and July of the year 2028, as England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland join forces to host the tournament.

When does Euro 2024 start?

Euro 2024 is fast approaching, as Germany prepare to host the 17th edition of the UEFA European Championship.

The tournament takes place this summer, with the group stage to begin on June 14, 2024.

The opening game of the tournament will pit hosts Germany and Steve Clarke’s Scotland in Munich at the Allianz Arena. 

The group stage will then run until Wednesday, June 26, with the knockout stage scheduled to begin on Saturday, June 29.

Euro 2024 will feature 51 games spread across the month-long European football extravaganza, with the final scheduled for Sunday, July 14, at 70,000-capacity Olympiastadion in Berlin.

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