UEFA Women’s Euro 2022: The ultimate guide to the BBC-televised event

The biggest event of the year for women’s football is just around the corner as 16 of the best nations in Europe battle it out for the continent’s biggest prize.

For the first time since 2005, England will host the tournament as new manager Sarina Wiegman eyes her second successive European crown. 

The current Lionesses boss ended Germany's six consecutive tournament winning streak by leading the Netherlands to the title back in 2017.

England are yet to claim a major honour on the international scene, but considering two of the last five tournaments were won by the host nation, expectations are beginning to grow.

Here, we take a closer look at everything you need to know about the tournament, including venues, group stage draw, schedule, prize money and where you can watch the action unfold.

Host country and venue

The profile of women's football has grown significantly since England last hosted this tournament back in 2005.

Back then, only eight teams competed, while attendances averaged just under 8,000 for the 15 fixtures.

Fast-forward to 2022, and the landscape of women's football is almost unrecognisable. A total of 16 teams will compete across 10 venues and eight host cities, including London's Wembley Stadium and Manchester United's Old Trafford.

The other eight venues include Sheffield United's Bramall Lane, Southampton's St Mary's, Brighton's Falmer Stadium, MK Dons' MK Stadium, Brentford's Community Stadium, Rotherham's New York ground, the Leigh Sports Village and Manchester City's Academy Stadium.

Who are the defending champions?

Lieke Martens and Danielle can de Donk celebrate with the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 trophy

In 2017, Netherlands powered to European Championship glory on home soil after beating Denmark 4-2 in the final.

Oranje picked up victories over Sweden and England in the knockout stage, and also went unbeaten in their group.

This was the first major title for the Dutch women's team, and the first major international honour for manager Sarina Wiegman who went on to be the longest reigning Netherlands boss with 72 games under her belt.

Group stage

Group A: England, Austria, Norway, Northern Ireland

On paper, hosts England have been handed a favourable group. Norway appear to be the biggest challengers for the Lionesses considering they've won this event twice and are currently ranked 12th in the world.

Austria, who are ranked 21st, and Northern Ireland, who are making their debut, face a tough task if they are to progress.

Group B: Germany, Denmark, Spain, Finland

Eight-time European Championship winners Germany have a far stiffer challenge on their hands.

The 2017 runners-up Denmark will pose the biggest threat, while Spain - who are ranked 10th in the world - will also be hoping to raise a few eyebrows. Finland, on the other hand, are the rank outsiders.

Group C: Netherlands, Sweden Switzerland, Portugal

The third group of the tournament features two powerhouses of women's European football. Netherlands, who are the defending champions, will have to overcome former winners Sweden in what should prove to be an enthralling battle for top spot.

Switzerland and Portugal, who are ranked 20th and 29th in the world, will have to pull off a major upset if they are to progress into the knockout stage.

Group D: France, Italy, Belgium, Iceland

Lastly, we have Group D which could be the most competitive. France, who reached the quarter-finals in 2017, will be slight favourites to progress.

Belgium, Iceland and Italy are all ranked in the world's top 20 and are capable of causing a few surprises.

Knockout stage

Quarter-final games will begin on July 20 with winners of Group A taking on the runners-up of Group B in Brighton.

Brentford's Community Stadium will play host to the second quarter-final as winners of Group B take on the runners-up of Group A.

The action will then move to the Leigh Sports Village where the winner of Group C battles the runner-up from Group D.

The last of the quarter-finals will be held in Rotherham as the Group D winner takes on the runner-up from Group C.

Semi-final games will follow in Sheffield and Milton Keynes before the tournament culminates with a clash at Wembley.

Schedule

The opening game of the tournament will take place on July 6 at Old Trafford when England take on Austria. Group stage games will then continue until July 18.

After a two-day rest, the action will resume with the first of the four quarter-finals on July 20. The other three matches will take place over the following three days.

The semi-final games are scheduled for July 26 and 27 while the final will be held in London on July 31.

Full fixture list

Old Trafford

July 6 - England vs Austria (Group A - Old Trafford)

July 7 - Norway vs N Ireland (Group A - St Mary's Stadium)

July 8 - Spain vs Finland (Group B - Stadium MK)

July 8 - Germany vs Denmark (Group B - Brentford Community Stadium)

July 9 - Portugal vs Switzerland (Group C - Leigh Sports Village)

July 9 - Netherlands vs Sweden (Group C - Bramall Lane)

July 10 - Belgium vs Iceland (Group D - Academy Stadium)

July 10 - France vs Italy (Group D - New York Stadium)

July 11 - Austria vs N Ireland (Group A - St Mary's Stadium)

July 11 - England vs Norway (Group A - Falmer Stadium)

July 12 - Denmark vs Finland (Group B - Stadium MK)

July 12 - Germany vs Spain (Group B - Brentford Community Stadium)

July 13 - Sweden vs Switzerland (Group C - Bramall Lane)

July 13 - Netherlands vs Portugal (Group C - Leigh Sports Village)

July 14 - Italy vs Iceland (Group D - Academy Stadium)

July 14 - France vs Belgium (Group D - New York Stadium)

July 15 - N Ireland vs England (Group A - St Mary's Stadium)

July 15 - Austria vs Norway (Group A - Falmer Stadium)

July 16 - Finland vs Germany (Group B - Stadium MK)

July 16 - Denmark vs Spain (Group B - Brentford Community Stadium)

July 17 - Switzerland vs Netherlands (Group C - Bramall Lane)

July 17 - Sweden vs Portugal (Group C - Leigh Sports Village)

July 18 - Iceland vs France (Group D - New York Stadium)

July 18 - Italy vs Belgium (Group D - Academy Stadium)

July 20 - Winner Group A vs 2nd Group B (QF, Falmer Stadium)

July 21 - Winner Group B vs 2nd Group A (QF, Brentford Community Stadium)

July 22 - Winner Group C vs 2nd Group D (QF, Leigh Sports Village)

July 23 - Winner Group D vs 2nd Group C (QF, New York Stadium)

July 26 - Semi-final (Bramall Lane)

July 27 - Semi-final (Stadium MK)

July 31 - Final (Wembley Stadium)

Players to watch

Lauren Hemp of England Women

As hosts of the Euros, England will be desperate to put on an eye-catching display. One player who is certainly capable of delivering excitement on the field is 21-year-old Lauren Hemp.

The Manchester City star scored 16 goals across 31 games in all competitions last season as she powered to her fourth PFA Women's Young Player of the Year prize.

Another winger hoping to take the tournament by storm will be Norway's Caroline Graham Hansen. The 26-year-old has won pretty much everything there is to win in the club game, and is now targeting silverware at international level.

Norway's hopes of success will be significantly boosted with Ada Hegerberg in the squad. The first ever winner of the women's Ballon d'Or and the six-time Champions League conqueror is back on the international stage after a five-year hiatus.

Germany, who have won seven of the last nine European Championship titles, are also well-equipped to tackle the event.

Die Nationalelf boast the likes of Svenja Huth, who was the 2021/22 Player of the Season in her homeland, and Lea Schuller, who ended the campaign as the top scorer in the Frauen-Bundesliga with 16 goals in 22 games.

Spain, in contrast, will have Barcelona's star player Claudia Pina at their disposal.

Elsewhere, make sure to keep your eye on Denmark's Pernille Harder who helped Chelsea to a domestic treble last season.

All-time Dutch top scorer (in men's and women's football) Vivianne Miedema will also be looking to make an impact for the defending champions.

Plus, let's not forget about the talented French duo of Marie-Antoinette Katoto and Melvine Malard. Katoto is regarded as one of the best goalscorers in women's football having bagged 25 goals last season. Her team-mate, meanwhile, possesses lighting speed and will be a major attacking danger for France.

Prize money

The entire prize pool for the tournament stands at £13.7million which is double the amount from the 2017 edition of the women's European Championship.

All 16 teams will receive £514,000 for participation alone, and they will be able to boost that figure with over £85,000 awarded for a group stage win, and over £42,000 for a draw.

Reaching the quarter-final will earn a team £175,000, while a semi-final spot is worth £274,000.

The runners-up will take almost £360,000, while the winners will bank £565,000.

Where to watch

In the United Kingdom, it's the BBC who has full broadcasting rights for the event.

In Germany, fans will be able to follow the tournament on Das Erste, ZDF and DAZN. French broadcasting rights have also been split between TF1 and Canal+.

Fans in the United States, on the other hand, will be able to follow the action on ESPN.

READ MORE: Which clubs have yet to sign a player in the summer transfer window?

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