Euro 2016 - The 2016 European Football Championships in France.
The fifteenth international European Championships football tournament will be staged in France. For the first time the final stages of the competition will comprise 24 teams. The decision to increase the number of participants was ratified by all member states in September of 2011 and will increase the number of matches in the finals from 31 to 51.
The format at Euro 2016 will be the same as that of the FIFA World Cup from 1986 to 1994. In the first round there will be six groups of four. The top two from each group will qualify for the second round along with the four best third place finishers.
The qualifying format for Euro 2016 has yet to be announced but is likely to remain the same as Euro 2012 qualifying with nine groups. Twenty three teams will be looking to join hosts France in the finals.
Ten venues will be used to host the matches. In the north of the country Lille, Lens, Paris and nearby St. Denis were chosen while in the south, Lyon, St. Etienne, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Marseille and Nice will stage games.
The bidding process for 2020 will began in 2012. Three nations or groups of nations expressed an interest in hosting the tournament following the May 2012 deadline for submission of bids.
Azerbaijan and Georgia - On 24th May 2012 Azerbaijan and Georgia officially declared their interest in a joint bid to host Euro 2020.
Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales - The joint bid from the Irish, Scottish and Welsh Football Associations was submitted on 15th May 2012.
Single nation bids:
Turkey - Turkey became the first nation to officially declare an interest in hosting the tournament. However, Istanbul has been shortlisted as a potential host of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games. If the Olympic bid is successful Turkey will have to pull out of a bid to host the European Football Championships.
The bidding process was originally scheduled to take 18 months with the eventual host of Euro 2020 set to be announced in early 2014. However, on 30th June 2012 UEFA President Michel Platini put forward the idea of Euro 2020 being held across Europe in '12 or 13 cities or even 24 or 32'. Platini didn't expand too much on his idea saying only it would be 'discussed very seriously'.
On 25th January 2013 UEFA announced that twelve cities will host four matches with an extra venue being chosen to host the semi finals and finals. The 24 team competition will comprise 51 matches in total. There will be no automatic qualification for any nation meaning there is a possibility that a nation chosen to host matches will not feature in Euro 2020.
The bidding process for the new format begins in March 2013.