The UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship will take place in Slovakia in 2025. The decision was taken by the Executive Committee of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) at a meeting in Nyon, Switzerland, on Wednesday. Slovakia will be the first country in history to host the tournament with 16 participants on its own. Eight Slovak cities - Bratislava, Trnava, Dunajska Streda, Nitra, Trencin, Zilina, Kosice and Presov – will host the matches.
According to the president of the Slovak Football Association, Jan Kovacik, hosting the European Under-21 Championship was one of the goals or dreams of the association. During the past few years, they systematically worked on the development of the infrastructure of stadiums to meet the requirements for such a big tournament. In the local conditions, this is the biggest event the Slovak football association can organise.
The course of preparations for the championship will be under the scrutiny of UEFA. According to Peter Palenčík, Secretary General of the Slovak football association, in the near future several groups of experts from UEFA will visit Slovakia and they will define specific things that need to be improved in individual stadiums. “We will definitely go through all the hotels and training areas that we have proposed in our application with them and then after the evaluation we will work on the best possible organisation," Palenčík added.
The European Championships with 16 participants will be held for the third time, but Slovakia will be the first country in history to host such a big tournament in the number of national teams on its own. EURO 2017 in Poland saw 12 participants fight for the title, and the same number of teams was also present two years later in Italy and San Marino. The first time there were 16 selections at the European Championship for this age group was in 2021, held in Hungary and Slovenia. This year, the top 16 teams in Europe will be welcomed by Romania and Georgia.