Is football coming home? We can certainly hope so. And even if not, with Wales and Scotland in the tournament, it might be that football ends up moving in only a short trip away!
This article is our Britannia guide to watching the European Championships. We’ll give you the run-down on dates and times, the key games to watch out for, some tips for the uninitiated, and the best way to make sure your viewing experience is as comfortable as possible. Strap in!
What are the dates for Euro 2020?
First of all, don’t get confused. While it might be called Euro 2020, it’s certainly taking place in 2021. In fact, the whole tournament has been postponed by almost exactly a year, with the opening ceremony and first game set to take place in Rome from 7pm on the 11th June. The final will take place a month later, on the 11th July.
England plays for the first time on the 13th June at 2pm, followed by two more set-in-stone group stage games on the 18th and 22nd (both at 8pm). Scotland plays on the 14th (2pm), 18th and 22nd June (both at 8pm), while Wales plays on the 12th (2pm), 16th and 20th (both 5pm).
All fixtures after that depend on our teams’ results in the group stage, so it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the news and plan out your diary accordingly.
Where to watch football on TV?
At Britannia, we’re big fans of watching summer football with a few friends in one of our bright, airy conservatories! International football is a sport for the summer and the sun, cool drinks and a party atmosphere — when things are going right, at least. A sunny conservatory is the perfect spot to catch England’s troubles and triumphs.
Realistically, however, you’d probably really like to know exactly where on television the Euros are set to air — and we’ve good news. All of the games are going to be screened live on terrestrial television by either the BBC or ITV. You can read more about exactly who is screening what here, but it’s been guaranteed that all are freely available to all with a TV license.
Looking forward to a particular game, but know you’re going to miss it? Accidentally missed kickoff? Provided you can stay away from spoilers for a little while, you can catch up with any and all games on the BBC iPlayer or ITV Hub after they air, or even rewind live playback to watch from the beginning of a game.
How to get into watching football
What do you do when the people you love enjoy football, but you haven’t got a clue? It’s an age-old question, but not a very tricky one. It’s simply a question of learning to understand and enjoy the beautiful game. To start with, you might find it useful to brush up on the rules.
Football is a game with many layers, and therefore many ways to enjoy watching. Some people dive into tactics, analysing formations and player metrics. Others enjoy the raw athleticism and skill on display, waiting with baited breath for an outburst of flair and passion. Still others enjoy the personal and patriotic aspect, getting to know each of the players on their national team, their skills and their temperament.
The latter approach is probably the easiest way to get into watching football, at least for our national teams. You might enjoy reading up on the players, learning to recognise them on the pitch and watching their journey through the tournament as they play for their country. You can find profiles for the England, Wales and Scotland teams here.
One thing many people find objectionable about football is the level of “foul play”. From diving and overreacting to cynical fouls, many people strongly dislike the dirtier aspects of the game.
All avid football fans can do is reassure the less-certain that they don’t like it either, and that the rise of video refereeing has partly reduced the impact that underhand tricks can have on the game.
Above all, watching football is about having fun with friends. While it’s looking like Covid restrictions may still be in place for the majority of the tournament, you can still enjoy the football with up to five friends indoors or meet up outside to watch it in a larger group. You could even ask around at work to see whether anybody has started a sweepstake!
Maximise home comforts
A football game goes on for ninety minutes, which is a good amount of time to sit down in one position! While we’ll hopefully have plenty of reasons to get out of our seats, it’s important to make sure you’re sitting comfortably and healthily while you watch to avoid soreness or stiffness.
Make sure you can comfortably see your television and you’re sitting down somewhere you can relax. At half-time, it’s usually good to get up and move around for a minute
Many of us already have a favourite snack we like to eat during football games. From nuts and crisps to grapes and biscuits, it’s important to keep your energy up for a jubilant, winning-goal celebration!
In the UK, we particularly love to drink beer and watch football — but don’t forget to join the country in brewing a traditional pot of tea at half-time. Last World Cup, the National Grid had to step in to meet the sudden demand for energy!
Avoid indoor football in your home!
Sometimes, we can have a little too much fun when we watch football. Some of us, children and grown-ups alike, can go a little footie-mad and start kicking footballs in the house!
We would be lying to say that this isn’t good for our business, but replacing accidentally-broken windows isn’t something we usually enjoy. Windows should come out when you or they are ready, not because of ill-fated attempts to practice penalty shootouts in the living room!
So, this European Championship, remember: footballs should stay outside! But just in case you can’t resist, remember — we’re only ever a phone call away. We even stock toughened glass!
From all of us at Britannia, enjoy Euro 2020. Wherever you might live, we hope football comes home this year. Come on England!