UEFA EURO 2020 - we have been waiting for you!
The opening match of Hampden Park, Glasgow and Scotland's hosting of UEFA EURO 2020 will kick off in a few short hours. Scotland will take on the Czech Republic in the first of their home games following qualification through the play offs in November 2019. A night that will live long in fans' memories; a night that immortalised a goalkeeper's magical save, and a song that made the nation boogie.
A long time has passed since the Men's National Team qualified for a major tournament. The fans, and indeed the whole country, are behind a team that gives us all cause to dream.
Hampden Park is dressed and ready for the party, and the eyes of the world will be on Glasgow and Scotland.
The story has been long in the making. We look back on the journey.
Bidding for glory
Following on from Glasgow's successful bid to co-host UEFA EURO 2020, official host city status was sealed in 2013 as the logo was unveiled at the Science Centre. Poised on the banks of the River Clyde, its neighbour the iconic 'squinty bridge', featured in the localised and colourful tournament identity created for all 13 hosts at the time.
Joined by Ambassador for Glasgow, Sir Alex Ferguson, the then Scottish FA President Alan McRae made reference to the tournament's renowned unpredictability on the pitch. Little did he or anyone else know that this competition would be impossible to predict.
“On behalf of the Scottish FA – and, indeed, the whole of Scottish football – I am proud that Glasgow and Hampden Park will be an integral part of these special UEFA European Championship finals, celebrating 60 years of one of the most exciting and unpredictable tournaments in world football."
In 2017, UEFA President Alex Ceferin visited the city to celebrate the successful completion of the first phase of UEFA EURO 2020 stadium development works. As part of the preparation for the tournament, new LED giant screens were installed, alongside 26 new skyboxes and two sky lounges. Read more on the visit here.
Read and watch more about the giant screens here.
Building the team
Crucial to the running of any major event, Volunteers were recruited in June 2019 by the UEFA EURO 2020 Volunteer Manager and team based at Hampden Park. Supported by Line of Duty star and football fanatic Martin Compston, the call went out to the ‘Scottish football family’ to be part of this unique tournament coming to Glasgow next year.
Read more about the launch of the UEFA EURO 2020 Volunteer Programme here.
Around 40 Long Term Volunteers supported the running of the Volunteer Recruitment Centre at Hampden Park in summer 2019, seeing 1,500 people for interviews and uniform fittings.
Claire Garratt, UEFA EURO 2020 Volunteer Manager, said, "Our Long Term Volunteers have been a huge support to myself and the Volunteer Management Team. It has been amazing to have such friendly faces welcome our interviewees and give them the best experience possible at interview and uniform fitting. We have had an amazing summer and we can't thank everyone enough for their passionate support."
1 year to go - the first time round!
Tickets flew out the door in June 2019 as UEFA released the first wave of tickets, with 19.3 million applications received. At this stage, 12 host cities are sharing the tournament hosting rights, as Brussels is no longer in the mix. More on the ticket release here.
To celebrate the milestone, UEFA EURO 2020 Mascot Skillzy joined local freestylers at a skills festival for fans and families in Glasgow. The iconic Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Don't miss our gallery of pics and content from the 1 year to go Festival here.
EURO 2020 takes to the road
'The Hampden Roar' travelling exhibition was developed by the Scottish FA in partnership with EventScotland and the Scottish Football Museum, bringing the best of European and Scottish football to the fans around the country, with pride of place being given to the iconic Henri Delaunay European Championship Cup. Drawing in thousands of Scots and special guests over the course of a week in October 2019, the tour enabled many to feel part of it and get excited for what was to come (then) next summer.
For all the news from the tour and photos, click here.
Drawing our fate
Following the Final Draw, which took place in Bucharest on 30 November 2019, Scotland discovered the path they must take to secure qualification for UEFA EURO 2020. The home matches for Scotland were set as against Czech Republic and Croatia, with the tantalising prospect of clash with England at Wembley.
The opening match of the tournament in Rome, originally set for 12 June 2020, saw Italy draw Turkey. See the original tournament listings and dates here.
Excitement continued to build as UEFA grew their sponsors portfolio and welcomed a global line-up to the EURO 2020 party; Adidas, Heineken and Takeaway.com were announced, together with the launch of the Your Move campaign freestylers and Martin Garrix teed-up to provide the official song.
March 2020 - postponement is announced
With 100 days to go being marked on 4 March 2020, plans were in full swing to deliver EURO 2020 in just 3 short months, with the original dates being 15, 19, 23 and 30 June 2020.
As news of COVID-19 started to emerge across the globe, the pandemic nature of the outbreak and spread led to the decision being taken on 17 March 2020 by UEFA, to postpone the tournament until 2021. The primary consideration of the LOS was and always has been, to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of the hundreds of thousands of supporters, visitors and citizens who were anticipating being part of the host city experience.
Glasgow was confirmed again as host city in June 2020, with the tournament now taking place from 11 June to 11 July 2021 and Hampden Park's three Group D matches taking place on 14, 18 and 22 June 2021, followed by a round of 16 match on 29 June.
The announcement follows regular dialogue between the partners since the decision to postpone the tournament in light of the COVID-19 pandemic on March 17. These discussions culminated in a shared commitment issued to European football’s governing body on behalf of key stakeholders including the Scottish FA, Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and VisitScotland.
Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President and Chair of LOS Glasgow:
“LOS Glasgow is absolutely committed to providing a memorable experience for the city, the country as a whole, and to fans across Europe when the tournament takes place next year."
They did it!
12th November 2020...a night we won't forget! Scotland held Serbia to a nerve jangling 5-4 win in penalties to secure their long-awaited place in a major tournament.
As a qualified host of the postponed EUROs next summer, Scotland secured home advantage for two of their matches, with Czech Republic (14 June) and Croatia (22 June), and will travel to Wembley to face England (18 June). The win in Belgrade ends a decades long wait for the national team in a major tournament, and racks up a ninth unbeaten match record for Steve Clarke's side.
Scotland goalkeeper David Marshall was the hero of the night after saving a penalty from Aleksandar Mitrovic in the nail-biting shoot-out. Saying afterwards that 'time stood still', Marshall took a visible pause before allowing his euphoria to erupt. More on that fateful night
As part of Hampden being selected a number of upgrades to the stadium have been made, including brand new big screens, as debuted at the 2017 William Hill Scottish Cup Final and refurbished hospitality suites.
The summer 2021 action on the pitch will shine even more brightly, with the installation of a new LED lighting system featuring cutting-edge special effects technology. In preparation for hosting this global event, the stadium needed a new lighting system that would meet the UEFA Elite A Category standards, the highest requirements set forth by UEFA. Read more about the new floodlights here.
Back and ready to deliver
As the LOS team was regrouped following postponement, the UEFA EURO 2020 Volunteers were also reignited, their passion for the Programme shining through as over 90% reconfirmed to be part of it. More on the Volunteer Programme here.
The Scottish FA and the entire Local Organising Structure have always been committed to ensuring as many people as possible benefit from Hampden Park's hosting of UEFA EURO 2020 and the legacy projects have been key in enabling so many to be part of it. Two years in the making, Learning Through Football launched in December 2020, offering free digital learning resources to teachers for the classroom.
The Football Memories legacy project, which saw the launch of our European Legends Reminiscence cards for those with Alzheimer's and dementia just prior to lockdown in March 2020, showcased the power of football in bringing people together at this difficult time. Cards designed to be used in the group session run by Football Memories Scotland, were transferred by many organisers to be digital, enabling virtual meet ups to happen for those most affected by the pandemic.
Visit our legacy hub for information on all of our engagement programmes, including the Glasgow-wide football programme 'Play Your Game', delivered by Glasgow Football, which has reached thousands across the city, helping to build EURO fever!
It's finally here...
The official UEFA Trophy Tour landed in Glasgow from 31 May - 3 June. On the penultimate stop of the host cities tour, the iconic UEFA European Championship Trophy visited a series of community events across Glasgow. Participants in Glasgow Life’s ‘Play Your Game’ programme will be able to enjoy their session in the company of the trophy, with Tiny Tots to Walking Footballers showing off their skills in front of the precious silverware. Joining the trophy on its tour of Glasgow are the official EURO 2020 freestylers and mascot, Skillzy.
Don't miss our Trophy Tour round up and gallery here.
They are ready
The Scotland Men's National Team will have all eyes on them as they walk out at Hampden Park to end 23 years of waiting in front of more than 12,000 supporters.
The nation has reached fever pitch in terms of anticipation as Scotland flags have adorned shops and bedroom windows across the nation, but in their hotel base in England, the players have kept a steely focus ahead of one of the biggest matches of their careers.
Following a productive camp in Spain, and four days in the luxurious surroundings of Rockcliffe Hall in Darlington, Scotland are ready. England and Croatia will open Group D on Sunday afternoon at Wembley prior to Scotland’s historic clash.
Let's do this Scotland! Good luck boys.
No Scotland, no party!
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