Euro 2020: How do fans expect to do in the competition, and what do they make of new rules?

Connor IbbetsonData Journalist
June 11, 2021, 8:38 AM UTC

Half of French football fans expect their side to make it to the final

With the first kick-off of the much-anticipated Euro 2020 mere hours away, YouGov asked football fans across Europe how well they think their home team will do, as well as what they make of the new rules added by UEFA.

Of the five countries surveyed, French fans (54%) are the most confident in their national team reaching the finals, with another 22% of French fans thinking their side will be knocked out during the semi-finals, and 15% thinking they won’t advance past the quarter finals.

France is followed by a third of Italian football fans (35%) who think a spot in the final for the Italian side is likely, compared to 31% who think they will go only as far as the semis, and 20% who think they will exit the tournament at the quarter finals.

Fans elsewhere in Europe are decidedely less confident in their home teams, with only 19% of Spanish and 14% of German fans anciptating reaching the final of the competition.

English fans are the least confident, with just one in nine (11%) thinking The Three Lions will reach the final match. While a quarter of English fans (29%) think the England squad could make the semis, they are are most likely to think their team will bow out during the quarter finals (33%). Another 14% think the knockout stages will be were the English dream ends, but only a pesimistic 5% predict England will not advance beyond the group stages.

Are the new Euro 2020 rules fair?

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, UEFA has had to introduced new rules to the game. These include teams that miss matches due to COVID-19 forfeiting 3-0, and that, if needed, replacement match officals can be of the same nationality of the one of the teams they are overseeing.

The new rules prove divisive, with fans leaning towards thinking they are unfair. Regarding match forfeits due to COVID-19 cases, some 42% of Italian fans think the rule fair, as do a similar number of English (41%) and French (41%) fans. However, around half of fans (51-53%) in each of these countries deeming the rule unfair. Spainish (37%) and German (36%) fans are the least likely to see this rule change as fair, with six in ten Spaniards (60%) and 53% of Germans calling it unfair.

While Spanish and French fans (43%) are the most likely of all nations to think a match official being replaced with one of the same nationalities as one of the teams they are overseeing is fair, people there are still more likely to see this as unfair (49% and 48% respectively). Elsewhere half of German fans (50%) think this is unfair, compared to 57% of English fans and nearly six in ten Italian fans (59%) who are the most likely to say this referee change would be unfair.

While not a rule for players, UEFA has made it clear that all stadiums hosting matches of the tournament must be able to have fans in the stands – something that most fans agree is important but none more so than the French (88%). Elsewhere 82% of Italian football fans agree it is important for the Euro 2020 to have fans attend, as do 73% of Spanish fans, 72% of English fans, and 62% of fans in Germany.

See full results here