Euro 2012 (UEFA European Football Championship) has been highly anticipated and the wait is almost over. Euro 2012 will begin on June 8th 2012 and run until the Euro 2012 Championship Game on July 1st 2012. For roughly three weeks Europe and the rest of the world will be able to watch the best European football players compete for their countries.
Like the Olympics, the UEFA European Football Championship is only played once every four years. Euro 2008 was hosted jointly in Austria and Switzerland, which marked only the second time that the European Championship was jointly hosted. Spain and Germany made it to the finals at Euro 2008 and the Spaniards beat the Germans 1-0 on a Fernando Torres goal.
This year the European Championship is going to be hosted jointly by two countries again. This is now the third time that two countries have been selected to jointly host the Euro Championship. Ukraine and Poland were selected to host Euro 2012 in 2007 after beating competing bids from Italy and Croatia-Hungary.
There hasn’t been a shortage of drama while preparing for Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, but tournament directors expect the event to go off without a hitch next month. This will be the first time that the European Championship has been hosted in Eastern Europe and while there have been struggles it’s great to see developing countries receive this opportunity.
Sixteen countries will be represented in the final draw at the Euro 2012 in June. This year will be the last year that sixteen nations qualify for the tournament. In 2016 there will be 24 countries that make the final draw through qualification. The host countries Poland and Ukraine automatically received a bid in the final draw while the other 14 spots were up for grabs during qualifying.
The best teams throughout Europe based on the new UEFA coefficient rankings qualified for the 14 remaining spots. Based on the UEFA coefficient rankings the top 15 teams in Europe + Poland (28th) will be playing in Euro 2012. There were no upsets during the qualification stages although I’m sure we can expect some during group stage in the next couple weeks.
There were 51 countries that tried qualifying for the remaining 14 spots at Euro 2012. Ukraine will be making their debut in the European Championship this year as an independent country. England, Denmark and Ireland also qualified for Euro 2012 after long absences from the tournament. The other twelve countries at Euro 2012 played in the last European Championship back in 2008.
Euro 2012 Host Venues & Stadiums
The host cities for Euro 2012 were chosen by a UEFA selection committee. Eight cities in total were selected as host cities for the Euro 2012 including four in Ukraine and four in Poland. The four cities that were chosen as hosts in the Ukraine are Kiev, Donetsk, Kharkiv and Lviv. Poland’s four host cities include Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw and Poznari.
Each of the eight cities has one stadium where Euro 2012 games will be played. Six of the stadiums being utilized at Euro 2012 are brand new and will be opening just before the big event. The other two stadiums are older, but have had to go through massive renovations to be upgraded to UEFA standards before the start of the 2012 European Championship.
Here is a full list of the stadiums that will be hosting games at Euro 2012 in the next couple weeks. We’ve also included estimated capacity limits for each stadium. It’s expected that over 1.5 million football fans from around the world will be attending games at one of the eight stadiums below during Euro 2012 this summer.
• Warsaw, Poland – National Stadium (50,000 Capacity) – Group A
• Wroclaw, Poland – Municipal Stadium (40,000 Capacity) – Group A
• Gdansk, Poland – PGE Arena (40,000 Capacity) – Group C
• Poznari, Poland – Municipal Stadium (40,000 Capacity) – Group C
• Kiev, Ukraine – Olympic Stadium (60,000 Capacity) – Group D
• Donetsk, Ukraine – Donbass Arena (50,000 Capacity) – Group D
• Kharkiv, Ukraine – Metalist Stadium (35,000 Capacity) – Group C
• Lviv, Ukraine – Arena Lviv (33,000 Capacity) – Group C
The smallest stadium for Euro 2012 is Arena Lviv with an expected capacity of 32,767 spectators. The new Olympic Stadium that was just built in Kiev, Ukraine is the biggest stadium and should be able to hold 60,000+ spectators. The Euro 2012 Finals will be played at the Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on July 1st 2012.
Due to the massive number of tourists and football fans that will be visiting the Ukraine and Poland during Euro 2012 each team has been given a “Team Base”. Each team has selected a city in either Poland or the Ukraine as their “Team Base” for Euro 2012, which is where teams will train and stay during the 3-week event.
Each of the four groups has been assigned two stadiums where they’ll play their group stage games. The teams in each group had to select their “Team Base” near the two host stadiums to cut down on travel time. Euro 2012 will be broadcasted in about 100 different countries live throughout the event. Check with your local cable provider to find out what station has rights to broadcast Euro 2012 games.
Reports have shown that about 1.5 million spectators will watch a live Euro 2012 game in either Poland or Ukraine. Over 150M+ spectators are expected to watch live coverage of every single game played during Euro 2012. These next few weeks are going to be packed with live coverage of Euro 2012 games, so make sure you read through our Euro 2012 Draw guide to see a full schedule.