The second most popular football tournament is of course the European Championship organised by UEFA. Straight after the FIFA World Cup, the qualifications start of a Euro Cup. Although the Euro 2016 is going to be a memorable one, Euro 2020 will be a very special one since the tournament will exist 60 years! Yes, the first Euro was organised in 1960 in France! For the first time in Euro history, the tournament will be hosted in multiple European cities!(There is a cool fact right there!). Okay, to go back to the Euro 2016! The tournament kick-off is on June 10 and ends on July 10. Okay, so did you know:
For the First Time There will be 24 Teams Participating
Since Euro 1996, there is a total of 16 teams participating in Europe’s biggest football tournament. Finally 5 Euro’s later, we will finally witness 24 teams! That’s an increase of 8 teams! To compare: the 1994 FIFA World Cup that was won by Brazil also contained 24 teams! This also means that the Round of 16 will make its introduction in Euro 2016, For the first time 16 teams will advance to the second round, the 2 top teams of each group and the 4 best third place teams. The tournament is going to be pretty big with many new European teams the world will see in action.
Gibraltar Entered Qualifications for the Very First Time
All 53 UEFA members (excluding France) entered the qualification stage. Gibraltar is the only team that has never entered the qualification stage before. Gibraltar applied for full UEFA membership and was finally accepted by the UEFA Congress in May 2013. Gibraltar is the smallest UEFA member in terms of population, which is around 30,000. The nation however is not a full FIFA member so they can’t qualify for a FIFA World Cup (yet).
France Beat 2 Countries for Euro 2016 Hosting Rights
European countries had a deadline of March 9 2009 to place a bid for hosting Euro 2016. Many countries were interested like Scotland, Wales, Russia and the Republic of Ireland. Eventually 5 countries placed an official bid: France (April 18 2007), Italy (March 2 2009), Turkey (February 7 2009), Norway and Sweden (February 26 2009). Norway and Sweden placed their bid as a joint bid, but they withdrew in December 2009 due to lack of political support in both countries. Of these 5 countries, only Turkey has never hosted a Euro or World Cup.
In Round 1 of the voting process 13 members of the UEFA Executive Committee ranked the 3 bids first, second, and third. First place ranking received 5 points, second place 2 points, and third place 1 point. France received 43 points, Turkey 38 points and Italy 23 points.
In the second and last Round of the voting process, the same 13-member committee had to vote for France or Turkey. France received 7 votes and Turkey 6 votes. On May 28 2010 it was announced that France would be the hosts of Euro 2016.
France Will Host the Tournament for a Record 3rd Time
It will be the 3rd time that France will host the European Championship, after the very first edition of the Euro in 1960 and Euro 1984. France is the first country to host the tournament 3 times. In 1984 France won the tournament on home soil by defeating Spain with 2-0. This was the second and last time so far a country won the tournament on home soil. The first time was Italy in Euro 1968.
The Euro 2016 Logo Contains the Trophy and Colours of the French Flag
The logo is always revealed before any slogan, mascot, match ball or poster. The logo was revealed one year after the last Euro 2012, on June 26 2013 during a ceremony at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines in Paris. It is the Portuguese agency Brandia Central that designed this logo. They were also responsible for the Euro 2012 logo containing two flowers and a ball. The design of the Euro 2016 logo is based on the theme “Celebrating the art of football”. The logo shows the Henri Delaunay trophy which is awarded to the champions of the tournament. The trophy contains the blue, white and red colours of the French flag, surrounded by a mixture of shapes and lines representing different artistic movements and football elements.
The Euro 2016 Slogan is Le Rendez-Vous
On 17 October 17 2013, UEFA announced the official slogan of Euro 2016: Le Rendez-Vous. The slogan is pretty catchy and self-explanatory. The slogan refers to the fact that France will host the tournament for a third time and that the best football teams wil meet once again.
Jacques Lambert, chairman of the Euro 2016 organising committee, says that the slogan “is much more than a reminder of dates (…) and venues“. He says “UEFA is sending out an invitation to football fans throughout the world and to lovers of major events, an invitation to meet up and share the emotions of an elite-level tournament.“
According to UEFA:
The competition slogan – Le Rendez-Vous – aims to evoke the importance of the UEFA European Championship and to make it a succession of festivities not to be missed. The slogan fits snugly with the competition’s visual identity, which was unveiled to the public on 26 June in Paris, and whose central message is ‘Celebrate the art of football’. The logo expresses the beauty of the game, the passion, the celebration of football and France’s cultural and artistic heritage.
Super Victor is the Official Euro 2016 Mascot
The official Euro 2016 mascot was revealed on November 18 2014. This is also the first time that the mascot appeared before a match which was between France and Sweden at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille. The mascot is half child and half superhero. He wears the French kit with a red cape, completing the national colours of France. His cape, boots, gloves and ball are claimed to be the child’s superpowers which Victor found in a treasury, enabling him to fly. The name Super Victor is pretty easy to explain. Victor refers to victory, and super refers to his super powers. This is the 4th time a human is selected as the Euro mascot. Since Euro 2004 the mascot consists of 1 or 2 boys.
Although the little superhero was revealed on November 18 2014, his name was only announced days later on November 30 2014. There was a public vote launched to decide his name. 107,790 people took part in this public vote, where they had to choose one of the following 3 names: Super Victor, Driblou and Goalix. Super Victor ended up with 48% of the vote ahead of Driblou (25%) and Goalix (27%).
Cheapest Euro 2016 Tickets Will Cost €25
The cheapest price for a Euro 2016 ticket is €25 and is available for 43 of the 51 matches. For all matches except the Final, there will be tickets available under €100. Around 75% of the tickets (that’s around 2.5 million tickets) will be available for the fans of the 24 teams and neutral audience. The most expensive ticket for the Final will cost €895. Per match there will be 2000 tickets available for the residents living in the host city, and 2000 tickets for players of the French football association.
The initial phase of the sales process started on June 10 2015 where 1 million tickets are available for sale.
Once the application period is closed, there will be a random selection process to determine successful applicants for all those matches which have been oversubscribed.
“In order to ensure the success of this great festival of European football, we wanted a ticketing policy that was in line with our lofty ambitions for the tournament. We wanted a ticketing procedure that was user-friendly and transparent, in which everyone – no matter where they were in the world – had the same chances of obtaining tickets via a single portal.” said EURO 2016 SAS president Jacques Lambert.
UEFA will also donate 20000 tickets to deprived children all over France as part of the 20,000 Smiles for the EURO programme.
No tickets will be sold at stadiums during the tournament, fans will be able to sell on unwanted tickets at face value via the official ticket resale platform in March/April 2016. This will permit fans to buy tickets from other supporters through UEFA, eliminating the risk of obtaining invalid or fraudulent tickets and ensuring that genuine sellers receive their money.
There are several ticket packages available:
- Destination tickets: A €290 package will enable fans to get the best view in the house for two matches at a particular stadium
- Corporate hospitality packages: Guests can enjoy first-class hospitality while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere in the very heart of the stadium before witnessing the game using the best seats
- Tickets for disabled spectators: UEFA will make a number of tickets available for disabled fans at every match, in the lowest price category, regardless of their location in the stadium
- Follow my team tickets: After the group draw in December 2015, supporters of all 24 participating teams will be able to purchase full packages allowing them to follow their team throughout the tournament. These sales will be conducted in close cooperation with the 24 participating national associations.
Apply for your Euro 2016 tickets here
10 Host Cities and 10 Stadiums Will be Used for the Matches
On May 28 2010 12 stadiums and host cities were presented, but this had to be initially reduced to 9 one year later by the end of May 2011. In june 2011, the number of host cities and stadiums got increased to 11 instead due to the new format of 24 teams playing the tournament. However 6 months later in December 2011 the city Nance withdrew since the stadium’s renovation fell through. The final list of the 10 venues was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee on January 25 2013. The venues and stadiums are:
- Saint-Denis – Stade de France
- Marseille – Stade Vélodrome
- Lyon – Stade des Lumières
- Lille – Stade Pierre-Mauroy
- Paris – Parc des Princes
- Bordeaux – Stade Bordeaux-Atlantique
- Saint-Étienne – Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
- Nice – Allianz Riviera
- Lens – Stade Félix-Bollaert
- Toulouse – Stadium Municipal
Of the 10 stadiums, Stade De France, Stade Vélodrome, Parc des Princes, Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Stade Félix-Bollaert and Stadium Municipal were used in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Parc des Princes, Stade Vélodrome and stadium Municipal were used in the third FIFA World Cup back in 1938.
Parc des Princes, Stade Vélodrome, Stade Félix-Bollaert and Stade Geoffroy-Guichard were used in Euro 1984. Parc des Princes and Stade Vélodrome were also used in the very first Euro in 1960.
Group Winners, Runners-up, and Best Four Third-Placed Teams Advance to the Round of 16
With the amount of 24 teams, there has to be a new system introduced when it comes to the amount of teams that will advance. The previous Euro which contained 16 teams had a simple system. The 2 top teams of the 4 groups advance to the quarter-finals. Here the knock-out stage started: the team that loses is out of the tournament. Now with 24 teams in Euro 2016 it will not be that simple. There will be 6 groups now containing 4 teams. The 2 top teams still advance to the next round. But this would mean only 12 teams will advance. Half of the 24 teams will have to advance, so the 4 best third placed teams will join the 12 teams to the next round: The Round of 16. Here the knock-out stage starts. The system is basically the same as was used in the 1986, 1990 and 1994 World Cup which also consisted of 24 teams.
David Guetta Will Produce Official Euro 2016 Song
Not only will French DJ David Guetta produce the song, he will also write it! It is not clear yet when exactly the song will be released. I guess it should be around March/April 2016. He will also perform in the opening ceremony at the Stade de France on June 10 2016. Stay tuned for more updates!
UEFA president Michel Platini:
“We wanted to work with David Guetta because he has proven throughout his career that he can create music which inspires people all around the world. David’s music has great energy so we look forward to seeing and hearing him add to the spirit and atmosphere of the tournament.”
2 Countries Can Win the Euro a Record of 4 Times
In Euro 2012, Spain became the very first country to win the tournament 2 consecutive times by defeating Italy with 4-0! They also won the tournament in 2008 by defeating Germany with 0-1. Spain also won the tournament long time ago in 1964 by defeating Soviet Union with 2-1. Although Spain won the tournament 3 times, they are not alone! There is 1 country which also managed to win the Euro 3 times: Germany. They won the tournament in 1996 for the last time by defeating Czech Republic with 2-1. Germany won Euro 1972 and 1980 as West Germany by defeating Soviet Union with 3-0 in 1972 and Belgium with 2-1 in 1980. If Spain or Germany wins Euro 2016 in France, then they will have a record win of 4 times!
The Champions Will Play the 2017 Confederations Cup
As is the case with many continental tournaments, the champions of Euro 2016 will immediately qualify for the 2017 Confederations hosted in Russia. If Russia or Germany win, it will be the runner-up that will qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup! The reason being that Germany and Russia already qualified for this tournament. If both Germany and Russia reach the Euro 2016 Final, the qualifier will be drawn from the losing semi-finalists. The Euro 2016 champions will be the 6th team that will qualify for the “mini World-Cup” in 2017 after Russia (hosts), Germany (World champion), Australia (Asian champion), champions of the 2015 Copa America and the champions of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Share With Football Fans