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Soccer - 11 May 2022
European soccer governing body UEFA has approved the match schedule for its 2024 European Football Championship top-tier men's national teams tournament to be held in Germany, with the Olympiastadion in the country’s capital Berlin to host the final.
The tournament, which will run from 14 June to 14 July, 2024, will be played across ten cities in three clusters: Berlin, Hamburg, and Leipzig (North/North-East); Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gelsenkirchen, and Cologne (West); and Frankfurt, Munich, and Stuttgart (South).
This grouping was in part an effort to minimize the carbon footprint of the tournament, with matches in each group to take place across two clusters only, reducing travel distances for teams and fans.
Germany was awarded the hosting rights for Euro 2024 in 2018, seeing off a rival bid from Turkey.
The historied Olympiastadion was originally built for the summer Olympic Games in 1936 and has variously hosted soccer matches including at the FIFA World Cup in 1974 and 2006, at the FIFA Women's World Cup, and the UEFA Champions League Final in 2015. It is also home to the Bundesliga club Hertha BSC.
Following renovations in 2004 ahead of the 2006 World Cup, it now has a capacity just shy of 75,000, which will be reduced to 67,000 for the tournament.
The opening match of Euro 2024 - in which, as host and thus the first team assigned to Group A, Germany will feature - will be played at the Munich Football Arena (known as the Allianz Arena commercially), which is home to the club giants of the game Bayern Munich.
The Munich Football Arena will also host a semi-final, with the other to be played at the iconic Westfalenstadion in Dortmund.
The quarter-finals, meanwhile, will also make use of the Olympiastadion and the Westfalenstadion, as well as Hamburg’s Volksparkstadion and the Stuttgart Arena.
UEFA has published a full match schedule on its website. The draw for pre-tournament qualifying is scheduled for October 9 this year, while the draw for the tournament itself - at which fixtures and kick-off times will be revealed - will take place on December 2, 2023.
Deutsche Telekom, the German telecoms giant, agreed an exclusive domestic broadcast rights deal for Euro 2024 in 2019.
Philipp Lahm, tournament director for Euro 2024, said: "I'm confident that Euro 2024 will be a very attractive tournament. Many of the best teams in the world will compete in a country situated at the heart of Europe.
“We can look forward to great games and an exciting tournament in every aspect, right in our own backyard. Having a European Championship at home makes this great event into something even more emotional than a Euro usually is."
Celia Šašić, vice-president of the German Football Association (DFB) and an ambassador for Euro 2024, added: “The publication of the Euro match schedule is a kick-off of a different kind. The anticipation and preparation for all 51 games is part of a process which leads to the first highlight: the opening game.
“We want to make the Euros in Germany a real highlight and showcase the strong connection between football and society.”