Which Nations Have Hosted The Euros & Have Any Countries Hosted More Than Once?

The Euros, or more officially the UEFA European Football Championship, or the European Championship if you prefer, will take place in Germany in 2024. The hosts kick things off by playing Scotland on the 14th of June and will hope to play in the tournament’s last game, the final, on the 14th of July.

The first edition of this tournament was played in 1960, which makes it younger than the equivalent competitions in Africa (AFCON, founded in 1957) and South America (Copa America, first played in 1916). The first Euros ever was hosted by France, although back in those early years the finals were a mini-tournament played between just four nations who had made it through previous qualifying stages.

So, we know that France have hosted the tournament, and that Germany will do so in 2024, but who has done the honours in the intervening 64 years? That’s our focus here, but we will start by answering a slightly different question.

Which Country has Hosted the Euros the Most Times?

Football With Country Flags in Segments

Hosting the European Championship is a great honour and can, in theory at least, give the hosts a big advantage. Home support can really spur a team on and, even in this modern, global age, with fast, efficient transport, being on home soil also has the advantage of less travel as well as familiarity with conditions. Being the tournament hosts can cost a lot of money but also brings a major economic boost, with hundreds of thousands of tourists set to flock to Germany this summer, for example.

For the purposes of this article, we are including joint-hosts equally alongside nations that have done the honours on their own. We are, perhaps somewhat controversially, excluding countries that were among 11 hosts of the nomadic 2020 (played in 2021) Euros when we consider which nation has been the most frequent Euros host. So, with that in mind, which nation has hosted the most Euros?

France Leads the Way

France Euro 2016 HostsAs said, France hosted the inaugural edition of this brilliant contest in 1960. The Euros is considered to be the brainchild of a Frenchman, Henri Delaunay, who first pushed for such a tournament in 1927 when he was the secretary-general of the French Football Federation. Delaunay died three years before his idea would come to fruition but it was fitting that France were the first hosts and the trophy awarded to the winners is also named after him.

Including that first Euros, France have been host on three occasions and that means they have hosted the tournament more than any other nation. The second time they had the honour came in 1984 when they won their first major tournament. Inspired by the sensational Michel Platini the French won on home soil, beating Spain 2-0 in the final in Paris.

The most recent time France had home advantage came in 2016 and once again they made the final. However, despite being big favourites against Portugal, and quite probably the best team in the tournament, they came up just short. The underdogs Portugal won a dour final 1-0 after extra time.

Euros Hosts by Year

Year Host(s) Winner
1960 France Soviet Union
1964 Spain Spain
1968 Italy Italy
1972 Belgium West Germany
1976 Yugoslavia Czechoslovakia
1980 Italy West Germany
1984 France France
1988 West Germany Netherlands
1992 Sweden Denmark
1996 England Germany
2000 Belgium and Netherlands France
2004 Portugal Greece
2008 Austria and Switzerland Spain
2012 Poland and Ukraine Spain
2016 France Portugal
2020 Italy Various (final in England)

As the table above shows, relatively few nations have been involved in hosting the European Championship more than once. As well as France, the other nations to have had that honour are:

  • Italy – twice, in 1968 and 1980
  • Belgium – twice, in 1972 and (with Netherlands) in 2000

We said that we were ignoring the 2020 Euros, where games were spread around 11 cities in 11 different countries. Many of those nations, which included Russia, Azerbaijan and Romania, to name three, hosted just four games. However, England’s Wembley Stadium was used for all three of England’s group games, plus two last 16 matches, then both semis and the final.

Given England made the final and played all but one of their matches at Wembley, it was almost as if they were hosts and had home advantage, and so we could potentially, and with good reason, add England to the list of multiple hosts too. And of course, as already noted, Germany will be added to that list come June when they host their second tournament.

Who Will Host the Euros in the Future?

After Germany welcome Europe’s finest in the summer of 2024, we know that the next European Championship will be co-hosted by England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The exact split of the hosting duties is yet to be revealed, whilst the qualification process for that tournament is also somewhat complex, with only two of the five co-hosts able to be granted automatic qualification.

Scotland were among the 11 hosts of the 2020 Euros, so following the 2028 edition they could lay claim to being multiple hosts. England seems likely to host the final in 2028, which would be the third time Wembley had had that honour, albeit that 1996 was at the “old Wembley”.

Leaping forward another four years it has already been decided that Italy and Turkey will be joint hosts for the 2032 Euros. This will be the first time any matches at the finals will have been played in Turkey, but will represent Italy’s third time as host or joint host, and fourth time (including 2020) when they have staged games at the finals.

It is undecided how the games will be split between the nations but it would be something of a surprise were the final not to be played in Rome, as it was in 1968 and 1980. The two hosts will qualify automatically for this Euros but the venues to be used will not be confirmed until closer to the tournament.