Euro 2024: Germany envisages a summer of new footballing fairy tales

Football on grass in the stadium
© Getty Images/NiseriN

‘This tournament will be a festival of fan culture’, promises German Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Nancy Faeser in anticipation of the 2024 European Football Championship in Germany. And it’s not just this politician who is eagerly awaiting the UEFA Championship. Football fans from across Europe are impatient for the tournament to commence.

The first match takes place on 14 June in Munich. Euro 2024 finishes a month later on 14 July with the final in Berlin. Apart from the host nation Germany, there are 23 other countries participating in the tournament organised by the Union of European Football Associations, . The teams have rented accommodation and training facilities throughout Germany, so the preparations have already been in progress for weeks.

The matches will be held in ten cities. A total of some 2.7 million spectators are expected. Many people in Germany are reminded of the FIFA World Cup staged in their own country in 2006. That tournament is deemed to be a . The atmosphere was described as happy and peaceful. It was only some years later that the tournament’s image was tarnished by reports of bribes.

The focus is intended to be on sustainability and cohesion

Nothing like that should occur during this tournament. The European Championship is to exemplify modern Germany. like sustainability, freedom and peace are to form the focal point promises the German government. Along with . Germany wants to set standards for the future, especially in terms of .

Energy consumption at the tournament is to be reduced to a minimum. Products for the tournament are to be procured on a regional and sustainable basis. The C02 emissions are to be compensated. Organisers are putting a lot of thought into methods for . Packaging of products sold during the tournament is to be recyclable. Food and drinks should as far as possible be available in returnable packaging. Scientists and researchers are to assist with the environmental concept to make it an exemplary approach for other major sporting events in the future.

Announcement of the European Championship squad of the German national team

Announcement of the European Championship squad of the German national team
Announcement of the European Championship squad of the German national team ©

A festival for fans and businesses

The football fans are likely to be most interested in the matches. Here at least, the underlying conditions for wonderful days, and nights, of football are fulfilled. Half of all Euro matches don’t kick off until 9 p.m. Usually a time in Germany when people are soon thinking of sleep. This is however abandoned during the tournament. Noise protection measures are paused to enable people to cheer and rejoice without sanction, even at night. This once again permits the ever-popular public screening venues, where people can congregate in large groups to watch the football matches and celebrate.

A representative survey conducted by HDE, the German Retail Association, reckons that the tournament will enable businesses in Germany to increase their revenues by 3.8 billion euros. ‘This year’s home tournament could encourage consumption in individual sectors and product groups’, says HDE managing director Stefan Genth. Beer and grilled meat and vegetables are popular. But also banners and scarves.

Hotels, bars and restaurants are also expecting a positive effect from the championship. That’s what every second hotel and every second bar in the ten Euro cities is reporting. Full beer gardens, convivial gatherings – the expectations placed on the football tournament are high.

Sporting performances and an unusual squad announcement

The mood was very different in the winter. Few people in Germany were keen about the tournament back then. The national football team was to blame, since its performances had been disappointing for some time. But the mood has now shifted, because in spring the team under national coach Julian Nagelsmann was able to win matches against runner-up world champion France and the Netherlands. Many Germans are suddenly believing again in a successful sporting tournament.  

The way in which the German Football Association (DFB) presented its squad of players for the tournament was in any event a success. It took the form of unexpected and jocular contributions. A döner kebab stall in Berlin was asked to disclose that Antonio Rüdiger, the Berliner playing in Madrid, was in the squad. A bakery announced the inclusion of Chris Führich. The name of goalkeeping legend Manuel Neuer was published by a roofing company, singer Nina Chuba announced the inclusion of Florian Wirtz from football champions Bayer Leverkusen at one of her concerts. This jocular campaign could set the mood – for a cheerful Euro 2024 in Germany.


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