The big day has arrived. Today at 9 pm the edition of Europeans 2021, postponed last year due to the pandemic. Tonight theItaly at the Olimpico in Roma against Turkey in the opening match of the competition. There national Azzurra will have the public on its side, returning to the stadium (25% of the total capacity) but is also ready to take to the streets in compliance with anti-Covid regulations. The first fans arrived in Piazza del Popolo yesterday for the start of the Uefa Festival, the mega event lasting a month where it will also be possible to see the matches from the big screens.
FOLLOW THE LIVE HERE
Everything is ready at the Olympic stadium for Turkey-Italy, the inaugural match of Euro 2020. These are the official teams waiting for the kick-off set at 21.
Italy (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Florenzi, Bonucci, Chiellini, Spinazzola; Barella, Jorginho, Locatelli; Berardi, Immobile, Insigne.
Turkey (4-1-4-1): Cakir; Celik, Soyuncu, Demiral, Meras; Yokuslu; Karaman, Yazici, Tufan, Calhanoglu; Yilmaz.
THE LIVE PRE-MATCH
Ore 18.54 – Red shirts, flags of the Turkish national team and stadium chants. Foreign fans return to the capital for the first major sporting event in Covid era with the public in the stands. From the early afternoon the Turkish supporters, who arrived in Rome to attend the Olimpico tonight at the inaugural match of the European Championships between Italy and Turkey, poured into the streets of the center. Some groups gathered in Piazza di Spagna, others in the Trevi Fountain where they sang choirs to celebrate their debut at the European Championships. Few masks were worn and so local police and law enforcement agencies intervened to identify the fans and invite them to respect the rules. About two thousand Turkish supporters, residing in the Schengen area, are expected tonight at the stadium. Some reached the Olimpico with their own means or on foot from the center controlled remotely by agents, others with shuttle buses escorted by the police. About 200, mostly VIPs, politicians and people belonging to the world of sport, landed at Fiumicino airport with two scheduled flights of the Turkish Airlines airline landed yesterday afternoon. A special security channel dedicated to them has been prepared by the Police at the Terminal 3 exit; others of them, already accredited, have instead passed through the State Ceremonial. Waiting for them at the airport exit some buses with which they were then transferred to the capital.
In the capital, to attend the match, also some family members of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ministers for national defense and sport of Turkey. Over a thousand law enforcement officers are employed a day to welcome fans from all over the world to Rome and ensure safety during the match for which almost 16 thousand spectators are expected in the stands. Also on the field was a delegation of the Turkish police and Italian police operators from various Police Headquarters, expert connoisseurs of supporters and ultras groups. Maximum attention not only in the stadium area, but also in the historic center and in particular in the fan areas. Access gates, placeholders on the ground and thermoscanner to be able to see the match in the heart of the capital. There will be two big screens in the center that will broadcast the game. One at the Football Village in Piazza del Popolo and the other at the Imperial Forums at Largo Corrado Ricci. Access will be controlled. In the fan zone of the Forums, a maximum of one thousand people can access upon reservation while Piazza del Popolo is divided into two hemicycles that will host a maximum of one thousand people each. The setting up of 4 other maxi screens in other town halls of the city has been postponed to the next match. The order banning the sale for take-out and the transport of beverages in glass containers has also been enacted.
Ore 17.10 – Sold out on the first day of the UEFA Festival, with reservations for the two large screens in Piazza del Popolo and for the large screen in via dei Fori Imperiali which have already reached the maximum capacity. In just a few hours, 2,000 people have booked to attend, at the Fanzone, the inaugural match of UEFA Euro 2020 Italy – Turkey, scheduled for tonight at the Olimpico. The maximum availability of one thousand places for each of the two areas is established by the health protocols. After the success of the inaugural event in Piazza del Popolo, the UEFA Festival will continue until 11 July with a wide and articulated schedule ranging from sport to music, through culture and social initiatives. The program will offer spectators some big names on the Italian music scene, such as Irene Grandi and Annalisa. The entire program can be consulted on the website www.euro2020roma.com and it is possible to book for upcoming initiatives and activities.
Ore 16.50 – UEFA will compensate the city of Bilbao for the change of venue, from San Mames in the Basque city to La Cartuja in Seville, decided for Spain’s matches in the next European Championship. The Basque institutions had threatened to take legal action, but today the proposal of the European Football Association arrived that will guarantee 1.3 million euros as compensation, plus the possibility of hosting the 2024 Europa League final and the women’s Champions League final. 2025.
Ore 16.00 – Wembley is ready to increase its capacity: according to the Daily Mail, the government of Boris Johnson wants to guarantee the stadium a special exemption (regardless of the decision that will be taken about the end of the latest lockdown measures, scheduled for next 21 June. ) and increase to 45 thousand spectators. Double as many as will be able to attend the first three games. The news also affects Italy and Turkey, the two most accredited teams for the primacy of group A. The first classified will play the second round at Wembley on June 26 against the second of the Netherlands and Ukraine group.
Ore 15.40 – Hoping to return with the blue group for the final stages, there is already a bit of Italy at Wembley. Daniele Orsato will direct England-Croatia, a group D match scheduled for Sunday at 3 pm. With him Alessandro Giallatini and Fabiano Preti, Irrati al Var (assisted by the Portuguese Joao Pinheiro and the Italian Filippo Meli and as third assistant by Paolo Valeri). Fourth official Dutchman Bjoern Kuipers.
Ore 15.200 – “I am not in favor of this formula, and I don’t think we will do it again soon.” Thus the president of UEFA, Aleksander Ceferin about the itinerant formula of Euro 2020. «We are happy, it is a message of hope, it is the light at the end of the tunnel. Football brings hope to the people, and this is important to us. We can’t wait to get started, and Rome’s choice was obvious ».
Ore 14.30 – After having lunch, the Azzurri are in the hotel to rest. The departure of the bus is scheduled at around 7 pm, then from 8 pm on to the resaldation in the field. Mancini towards the confirmation of the eleven who beat the Czech Republic in the last game: Locatelli in midfield and Berardi in front with Immobile and Insigne.
Ore 13.20 – A thousand Turkish fans are expected for the opening match between Italy and Turkey. And two hundred of these, most of them VIPs, politicians and personalities from the world of sports, arrived in Fiumicino with two scheduled flights of the Turkish Airlines airline landed yesterday afternoon. According to what has been learned, for these fans who landed in the Roman airport, a special security channel dedicated to them was set up by the police at the exit of Terminal 3; others of them, already accredited, have instead passed through the State Ceremonial. A few buses await them at the airport exit.
Ore 12.30 – The Azzurri are back in the Parco dei Principi hotel. Time for lunch and rest before departure to the Olympic stadium, where they will arrive at 19.30.
Ore 12.20 – Francesco Totti and Alessandro Nesta will give the virtual kick-off to Euro2020 tonight. The two former champions will welcome the fans before the State Police band performs a piece from Rossini’s “Guglielmo Tell”. Then 24 guys from the Fiamme Oro and professional dancers will give life to a choreography with giant helium spheres. Andrea Bocelli instead will sing “Nessun dorma”.
Ore 12.10 – The finishing of Italy is finished. Mancini will confirm the 4-3-3 of all his management, with Berardi as owner.
Ore 11.55 – The mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi spoke at the inauguration of the UEFA Festival in Piazza del Popolo: «It is a great restart, we are proud to host Uefa Euro 2020. We have had a tough year. Now let’s look ahead. We are doing everything we can to build a secure present and future ».
Ore 11.15 – Italy is on the pitch at the Giulio Onesti sports center for the finishing session with a focus on inactive balls. There is also Marco Verratti, who is approaching the return after the injury.
10.55 am Gravina – «Once again football has won over a thousand organizational difficulties. He demonstrated how his extraordinary ability to aggregate was a stimulus, if not a driving force, for a gradual return to normality. The emotion that is the basis of this great show has the strength to instill hope and trust in millions of people ». The president of the Football Association writes it, Gabriele Gravina, in the text presenting the Euro 2020 commemorative stamp issued today by the Italian Post Office. «Italy, with its organizing committee made up of the FIGC, the Government, the City of Rome, Coni and Sport and Salute, plays an important role in the preparation of this festival of colors and passion, hosting 4 races, including the inaugural one. Never as in this exceptional edition has the spirit of friendship among the European peoples been so exalted ».
WHERE TO SEE ITALY-TURKEY ON TV AND STREAMING
All matches will be broadcast by Rai and Sky. Italy-Turkey tonight at 9 pm will be visible live on Rai 1 and on the satellite on Sky Sport Uno (channel 201), Sky Sport Football (channel 204) and Sky Sport (channel 251). The match will also be available in streaming on the RaiPlay platform and on SkyGo.