The European Championship in Italy, a revolution in the way games are experiencedA tournament tailored to youngsters and families will see new developments on matchday
Saturday, June 15, 2019
It’s a tournament that will be tailored to youngsters and families and will have a lot of firsts. This is what the FIGC has in mind when it comes to the UEFA Under-21 European Championship set to take place in Italy. Starting from the two opening fixtures on Sunday 16 June (Poland vs. Belgium in Reggio Emilia and Italy vs. Spain in Bologna), spectators will be able to enjoy a revolutionary format in our stadiums.
For the first time in Italian stadiums, there will be accompanying music for three specific moments in games: when substitutions are made, when VAR is used and when cooling breaks are required. While the whole stadium holds its breath in suspense of what the referee decides, a relevant and particularly popular song will be played. Should the referee halt play for a minute due to excessive heat, the national song of the European Championship, ‘Benvenuti in Italy’ by Rocco Hunt, will reverberate around the stadium, meaning fans will be able to feel its fresh and upbeat rhythm in the stands.
Another important first concerns the topic of esports. For the youngsters who fill the stadium, two new developments are in the offing. For all of the 21 games at the European Championship, young people in attendance will be able to play (before the game and at half-time) and challenge each other on penalties. What they do will be projected onto the big screens at the different stadiums.
After matches kicking off at 18:30 CEST (Poland vs. Belgium in Reggio Emilia is therefore included), the twelve finalists in the Pro tournament at national level will come up against each other at the European Championship stadiums (something which will be shown on the big screens). Up for grabs is the title of eEuroU21 champion and a place in the Italian National Team taking part in eEuro 2020. The semi-finals and final will take place at the Stadio Dall’Ara after the Under-21 European Championship semi-final clashes (27 June) and will be broadcast on the screen at Bologna’s stadium.
Another new development aimed at the younger members of the crowd is the social stand. Youngsters who attend will have the opportunity to watch matches with their favourite influencers – Calciatori Brutti, Ludovica Pagani, Panzio, Enzuccio, Chiamarsi Bomber and many others – and play a leading role in producing creative choreographies and flash mob scenes. Everyone will be able to transform into an influencer for a day.
The year-long journey undertaken by schools and groups who enthusiastically got behind the project #tifiamoEuropa (let’s support Europe), which was devised by the FIGC to mark a turning point in the way support is shown, will also culminate at the European Championship stadiums. The hope is that fans of other national teams who are coming to Italy to follow their team will remember a joyous and inclusive country ready to provide a great welcome. Something unique will take place at the Dall’Ara on the opening night, with 30,000 supporters set to attend: we look forward to an entire stand embracing the national anthem of the opposition, thus making them feel at home.