Where is Czechia? Background and footballing history of Euro 2024 hopefuls

Euro 2024 promises to deliver an exciting spectacle in Germany, marking the third iteration of UEFA’s expanded championship format. Since its inception in 2016, 26 European teams have competed every four years, providing opportunities for lesser-known nations to shine on a grand scale.

Among the debutants in this edition is Georgia, eager to make a mark in their first European Championship appearance. However, another team poised to surprise is Czechia, a name that may not ring a bell for some, but holds historical significance in European football.

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Fans with a sense of nostalgia will recall Czechia’s memorable run to the final of Euro ’96, albeit under a different name. Now, in 2024, this new generation of Czech players has the chance to carve their own legacy in European football.

For those wondering, Czechia is situated in Central Europe, bordered by Germany, Austria, Slovakia, and Poland. Historically, the Czech national football team has a rich tradition, with notable achievements including their victory at the 1976 European Championship when the country was known as Czechoslovakia.

As Euro 2024 kicks off, all eyes will be on Czechia as they aim to replicate past glories and perhaps create new chapters in their footballing history on the continental stage.

 

Where is Czechia?

Czechia, situated in central Europe, is a landlocked country bordered by Germany to the west and north, Austria and Slovakia to the south, and Poland to the north and east. Historically known as the Czech Republic, the nation has adopted “Czechia” as its more concise and widely recognized name in recent years.

As fans gear up for Euro 2024, some may wonder if Czechia and the Czech Republic are indeed the same entity. The answer is straightforward: yes. Czechia is simply the updated, more streamlined name that has gained acceptance in international circles and is used interchangeably with Czech Republic.

With the stage set for Euro 2024, all eyes will be on Czechia as they aim to showcase their footballing prowess and make an impact on the continental tournament under their refreshed moniker.

 

Why did Czechia change its name?

The transition from Czech Republic to Czechia sparked some initial confusion, leading to both names being used interchangeably to refer to the same country. Since 2016, the Czech government has officially endorsed “Czech Republic” for administrative and official purposes, while “Czechia” has been encouraged for use in sporting events, cultural contexts such as literature and music, and media communications.

This move echoes a historical precedent, as the nation underwent a similar name change in the early 1990s when it transitioned from being part of Czechoslovakia to becoming an independent state.

The rationale behind adopting “Czechia” primarily revolves around simplifying and standardizing the country’s name across different languages, aiming to avoid linguistic complexities and promote a more universally recognizable identity. Officials believe that “Czechia” better represents the nation and enhances its international visibility and appeal.

As Czechia prepares to make its mark at Euro 2024 and beyond, the clarity brought by this name change is set to facilitate smoother communication and broader recognition on the global stage.

 

Czechia history and records at Euros

Year Hosts Record (W-D-L) Stage reached
1996 England 2-2-2 Runners-Up
2000 Belgium/Netherlands 1-0-2 Group Stage
2004 Portugal 4-0-1 Semifinals
2008 Austria/Switzerland 1-0-2 Group Stage
2012 Poland/Ukraine 4-2-0 Quarterfinals
2016 France 0-1-2 Group Stage
2020 Europe 2-1-2 Quarterfinals