Euro 2020: Why is the tournament being held in different countries? Who are the host cities?

Euro 2020 finally gets underway later today with the tournament being held across the continent for the first time in its history.

The 16th staging of the tournament will be played in 11 cities across Europe to celebrate 60 years since the first European Championships were held in France in 1960.

The Covid-19 pandemic saw the competition pushed back by 12 months and despite concerns over travel, organisers have remained committed to keeping the competition as a European-wide event.

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The concept of taking the Euros to different nations was to give countries who may not be able to host an entire tournament the chance to be involved in staging a major international competition.

EURO 2020: This year's European Championships will be staged across 11 host cities. Picture: Getty Images.

Italy and Turkey kick the action off in Rome tonight with the tournament culminating in a final at Wembley Stadium on July 11.

Who are the host cities?

Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Netherlands will play all three of their group games against Austria, North Macedonia and Ukraine at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam.

SAINT PETERSBURG STADIUM: Russia will stage seven games, the second most of any country. Picture: Getty Images.

The cycling capital of the world will host four games in total, with a Round of 16 game set to be played there on June 26.

Baku, Azerbaijan

The Baku Olympic Stadium will host three matches from Group A with Wales having to travel eastward for games against Switzerland and Turkey on June 12 and June 16 respectively.

The country hosted the 2019 UEFA Europa League final between Arsenal and Chelsea. Switzerland will play Turkey at the stadium in a group game on June 20 with a quarter final being played there on July 3.

WEMBLEY: Will host eight games in total, including both semi-finals the July 11 final. Picture: Getty Images.

Bucharest, Romania

The National Arena Bucharest will play host to three games from Group C with North Macedonia taking on Austria and Ukraine in their first two group games before Ukraine and Austria face each other on June 21.

Romania's capital will also host a Round of 16 match on June 28.

Budapest, Hungary

HAMPDEN PARK: England's Group D opponents, Scotland, will play two of their three group games here. Picture: Getty Images.

Hungary have the toughest task of any team at Euro 2020 with current trophy holders Portugal, world champions France and 2014 World Cup winners Germany in their group.

They will play two games on home soil at the Puskás Aréna against Portugal and France before the holders face the world champions at the stadium on June 23. Budapest will also host a Round of 16 fixture on June 27.

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Parken Stadium is the largest football ground in Denmark, with the 38,000-seater set to host three games from Group B and a Round of 16 clash.

The Red and White will play all three of their group games there - against Finland, Belgium and Russia.

Glasgow, Scotland

Plenty of Scots will get to see their team in action at their first major tournament in 23 years with Hampden Park hosting three games from Group D and a Round of 16 fixture on June 29.

Scotland will play Czech Republic on June 14 while the Czechs will play their next game in Glasgow against Croatia on June 18. Steve Clarke's side will return to Hampden on June 22 to face Croatia in their final group game.

London, England

England are almost hosting the tournament by stealth with eight games to be played at Wembley, the most of any host city.

All three of England's group games, against Croatia, Scotland and Czech Republic will be played at the national stadium.

Two Round of 16 games, both semi-finals and the final will be played under the famous arch. The final is scheduled for July 11.

Munich, Germany

The Allianz Arena, the home of Bayern Munich, will host all three of Germany's Group F games this month. Starting with France on June 15, Germany will then take on Portugal and Hungary as they attempt to escape the group of death.

A quarter final tie is scheduled to be played at the stadium on July 2.

Rome, Italy

The Euro 2020 action kicks off tonight in Rome with Italy taking on Turkey at 8pm. The Azzurri will play their other two group games at the Stadio Olimpico, against Switzerland on June 16 and Wales on June 20.

A quarter-final tie on July 3 will also be played at the home of Serie A sides Lazio and Roma.

Saint Petersburg, Russia

The 2018 World Cup hosts will stage the second-most Euro 2020 with seven games to be played at the Saint Petersburg Stadium.

The venue hosted the same number of games during the 2018 World Cup with all of Russia's Group B games to be played in the country's second-most populous city.

Another Group B match between Finland and Belgium is to be played there along with two of Sweden's Group E fixtures, against Slovakia and Poland respectively. A July 2 quarter final will also be played in Russia.

Seville, Spain

The Spanish national side will play all three of their Group E games on home soil as they take on Sweden, Poland and Slovakia this month.

The Stadium La Cartuja will also host a Round of 16 fixture on June 27.

What happened to Dublin and Bilbao?

Dublin and Bilbao were originally set to host games but they were stripped of their hosting rights in April over public health concerns, as they could not guarantee the attendance of fans.

Bilbao's matches were moved to Seville while Saint Petersburg and London have shared the matches that were originally due to be played in the Republic of Ireland.

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