‘Festival of football’ as Euro 2020 begins

Lining up: The England team that will play Scotland on Friday. © Getty

Is competition good for us? British teams will go up against each other in the European Football Championship, which began on Friday. Some say a bit of rivalry gets better results.

What’s happening

The stadium was not full at the Italy-Turkey game on Friday. But the noise was huge. For lots of fans, it was the first live football they had seen for a year.

On Saturday, Wales played Switzerland. Then, Denmark took on Finland. And last night, England played Croatia at Wembley. Euro 2020 is here.

Find out more

The Euros are known as the “festival of football”. There are 24 teams taking part. Over the next few weeks, they will play 51 games in 11 countries around Europe.

Last year, the competition could not go ahead because of the pandemic. So, organisers moved it to this year.

The tournament began on Friday with Italy playing Turkey. The final will be on 11 July at Wembley.

British fans are looking forward to the next few weeks. England, Scotland and Wales have all qualified to play.

Wales fans have high hopes. At the 2016 tournament, the team reached the semi-finals.

For Scotland, this is the first major tournament since 1998. Placed in the same group as England, they will go head-to-head on Friday.

Is a bit of competition good for us?

Some say…

Yes! Competing against people is the best way to challenge yourself to improve. If you are in a race, you might run faster to beat a rival. Or you could work hard to get the best mark in a test. Competitions also bring countries together. The British teams are playing each other, but everyone can enjoy watching the football as a group.

Others think…

Not always. Tests and contests sometimes help us perform better. But sometimes they can be stressful. Not everybody is competitive. Plus, losing could make you feel worse than you are. Football competitions can divide us. We should be careful not to take contests too seriously.

You Decide

  1. Is it always good to be competitive?

Activities

  1. As a class, make a poster about one team playing in this year’s Euros. Draw a picture of the football strip worn by players and surround it with interesting facts about the country.

Some People Say...

“Competition is a good thing – it forces us to do our best.”

Nancy Pearcy (1952 – ), American author

What do you think?

Word Watch

Not full
Stadiums cannot be full because of social distancing rules.
Wembley
Wembley Stadium is a football stadium in London, England. It usually holds 90,000 fans.
11 countries
In the past, the Euros have been hosted in one country. This year is the first time they have been shared across European countries.
Competition
A big contest where lots of people take part. It can also mean the process of trying to win something.
Qualified
In lots of sports tournaments, teams must win certain matches before they can take part in the main competition.
Tournament
A series of contests played for a championship.
Semi-finals
A match or game coming before the final round in a tournament.
Group
The competition works with a groups system. Teams are picked randomly to play others in the group for the first round. There are six groups.
Head-to-head
A direct competition between two people or teams.
Competitive
Trying to get or win something others are also trying to get or win.

Subjects

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