UEFA Euro 1996
UEFA Euro 1996 official logo
|Dates||8 June – 30 June|
|Venue(s)||8 (in 8 host cities)|
|Champions||Germany (3rd title)|
|Goals scored||64 (2.06 per match)|
|Attendance||1,275,857 (41,157 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Alan Shearer (5 goals)|
|Best player||Matthias Sammer|
The 1996 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 96, was the 10th UEFA European Football Championship, a quadrennial football tournament contested by European nations. It took place in England from 8 to 30 June 1996.
The tournament was the first European Championship to feature 16 finalists, following UEFA's decision to expand the tournament from eight teams. Games were staged across eight cities and, although not all games were sold out, Euro '96 recorded both the second highest aggregate attendance (1,276,000) in the championship's history, up to this point and the second average per game (41,158) for the revised 16-team format, after Euro 2012.
Germany won the tournament, beating the Czech Republic 2–1 with a golden goal during extra time; this marked the first major football competition to be decided using this method. This was Germany's first, and to date only, major title won while a unified nation.
Bid process 
At the time of the bid process, the event was still not confirmed to include sixteen teams. Instead, the bids were largely prepared as if hosting an eight-team tournament, meaning only four venues were due to be required. All candidates had to submit their plans by 10 December 1991.
The hosting of the event was contested by five bids: Austria, England, Greece, the Netherlands and Portugal. The English bid was selected by the UEFA Executive Committee at a meeting in Lisbon on 5 May 1992. In the year preceding the decision, the English FA had dropped out of their plans to also bid for the 1998 World Cup in order to gain the support of other UEFA members who were to bid on that event.
First round 
The hosts, England, drew 1–1 with Switzerland in the opening match of Group A when Alan Shearer's 23rd minute goal was equalled by a late Kubilay Türkyilmaz penalty kick. England defeated rival Scotland 2–0 in their next game, and then produced one of their finest performances ever with a 4–1 win over the Netherlands. Patrick Kluivert's late goal for the Netherlands secured his team second place in the group and ensured that Scotland would exit another major competition on goal difference.
Group B had Western European France and Spain, along with Balkan World Cup participants Romania and Bulgaria. France and Spain dominated the group, with France avenging Bulgaria for the 1994 qualification debacle, and World Cup quarter-finalists Romania going home, with no points and only one goal scored.
Groups C and D saw the Czech Republic and Croatia, whose national teams had only recently come into existence, qualify for the knockout stages. The Czechs lost to Germany, the eventual group winners, in their opener, but then defeated Italy and drew with Russia. Italy's defeat meant they had to beat Germany in their final game to progress, but the World Cup finalists could only manage a 0–0 draw and were eliminated. In Group D, Croatia qualified for the quarter-finals, with wins over Turkey (1–0) and Denmark (3–0). The loss to the Croats ultimately sent the Danes, the surprise champions of 1992, home. Turkey became the first team since the introduction of a group stage to be eliminated without gaining a point or scoring a goal.
Quarter-finals and semi-finals 
The knockout stages were characterised by negative, defensive play; as a result, only nine goals were scored in the seven games and four of the matches were decided on penalties. The first quarter-final between the hosts and Spain ended goalless, after Spain had two goals disallowed and two claims for a penalty denied. The English progressed 4–2 on spot kicks. France and Netherlands also played out a 0–0 draw, with France winning the penalty shootout 5–4. Jürgen Klinsmann opened the scoring for Germany in their match against Croatia. A goal from Davor Šuker evened the score after 51 minutes, before Matthias Sammer of Germany scored eight minutes later, and the game ended 2–1 to Germany. Czech Republic progressed after beating Portugal 1–0.
The first semi-final, featuring France and Czech Republic, resulted in another 0–0 draw and penalties. Reynald Pedros was the one player to miss in the shootout, as Czech Republic won the penalty shoot-out 6–5. The other semi-final was a repeat of the 1990 World Cup semi-final between Germany and England. Alan Shearer headed in, after three minutes to give his side the lead, but Stefan Kuntz evened the score less than 15 minutes later, and the score remained 1–1 after 90 minutes. In extra time, Paul Gascoigne came very close to scoring a golden goal, but fractionally missed a cross from Shearer, Darren Anderton hit the post, and Kuntz had a goal disallowed for pushing. Neither team was able to find a second goal. In penalties, both sides scored their first five kicks, but in the sixth round, Gareth Southgate had his penalty saved, allowing Andreas Möller to score the winning goal.
The final saw the Czech Republic hoping to repeat Euro 1976 when Czechoslovakia defeated West Germany; the Germans were aiming to win their third European Championship. Patrik Berger scored from a penalty in 59th minute to put the Czechs ahead. German substitute Oliver Bierhoff then scored to make it 1–1. Five minutes into extra time, Bierhoff's shot was mishandled by Czech goalkeeper Kouba and the ball ended up in the back of the net for the first golden goal in the history of the competition. Germany were European champions again, the first time as a unified country.
On 30 November 1992, UEFA formally decided to expand the tournament to sixteen teams. UEFA cited the increased number of international teams following the recent break up of the Soviet Union and of Yugoslavia – rising from 33 UEFA members in 1988 to 48 by 1994 – as a driving factor behind the expansion. Forty-seven teams ultimately entered to compete for the fifteen remaining places in the finals, alongside hosts England.
The draw for the qualifying competition took place in Manchester on 22 January 1994. The teams were divided into eight groups, each containing either six or five teams. The qualifying process began in April 1994 and concluded in December 1995. At the conclusion of the qualifying group stage in November 1994, the eight group winners qualified automatically, along with the six highest ranked second placed teams. The remaining two second placed teams – The Netherlands and the Republic of Ireland – contested a one-off play-off match in England to decide the final qualifier.
Qualified teams 
The following sixteen teams qualified for the finals:
|Country||Qualified as||Date qualification was secured||Previous appearances in tournament1, 2|
|England||Hosts||5 May 1992||4 (1968, 1980, 1988, 1992)|
|Romania||Group 1 winner||15 November 1995||1 (1984)|
|France||Group 1 runners-up||15 November 1995||3 (1960, 1984, 1992)|
|Spain||Group 2 winner||15 November 1995||4 (1964, 1980, 1984, 1988)|
|Denmark||Group 2 runners-up||15 November 1995||4 (1964, 1984, 1988, 1992)|
|Switzerland||Group 3 winner||11 October 1995||0 (debut)|
|Turkey||Group 3 runners-up||15 November 1995||0 (debut)|
|Croatia||Group 4 winner||15 November 1995||0 (debut)|
|Italy||Group 4 runners-up||15 November 1995||3 (1968, 1980, 1988)|
|Czech Republic3||Group 5 winner||15 November 1995||3 (1960, 1976, 1980)|
|Portugal||Group 6 winner||15 November 1995||1 (1984)|
|Germany4||Group 7 winner||15 November 1995||6 (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992)|
|Bulgaria||Group 7 runners-up||15 November 1995||0 (debut)|
|Russia5||Group 8 winner||15 November 1995||6 (1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1988, 1992)|
|Scotland||Group 8 runners-up||15 November 1995||1 (1992)|
|Netherlands||Play-off winner||13 December 1995||4 (1976, 1980, 1988, 1992)|
1 Bold indicates champion for that year
2 Italic indicates host for that year
With the extended format, three teams were able to qualify for their first European Championship: Bulgaria, Switzerland and Turkey. Croatia and Russia competed for the first time in their own right since the dissolution of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union (though the Russian team is considered by FIFA to be the direct descendant of the Soviet Union and CIS teams that had appeared in six past tournaments). Seven of the eight participants at the previous tournament in 1992 were again present, with only Sweden – despite also having finished third in the World Cup two years earlier – missing out.
Final draw 
The draw for the final tournament took place on 17 December 1995 at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham. Only four teams were seeded: England (as hosts), Denmark (as holders), Spain and Germany. The remaining twelve teams were all unseeded and could be drawn in any group.
In the draw procedure, the unseeded teams were drawn one-by-one into each of the four groups before finally the four seeds were then drawn out. While it was decreed in advance that England's group would be Group A, the remaining three groups were then drawn out a letter to decide the name of their group, and therefore determine what venues they would play at. The balls were drawn by UEFA figures Gerhard Aigner and Lennart Johansson.
Since the implementation of the Taylor Report in 1990, England now had enough all-seater stadia of sufficient capacity to hold an expanded tournament due to the necessary stadium refurbishment by its leading clubs. In addition, although no such stadiums were used as host venues, the tournament was held at a time when relocation to new stadiums was becoming a trend in English football. The stadium capacities listed in the table are for the time of the tournament.
Planned capacity: 40,204
|St James' Park
Match ball 
A custom version of the Adidas Questra, the Questra Europa, was the official match ball of the championships. The design of the ball included a reworking of the England badge, and was the first coloured ball in a major footballing tournament.
Match officials 
|Czech Republic||Jiři Ulrich|
|Denmark||Knud Erik Fisker
|Portugal||Jorge Emanuel Monteiro Coroado|
|Spain||José María García-Aranda
Juan Ansuategui Roca
Group stage 
The teams finishing in the top two positions in each of the four groups progress to the semi-finals, while the bottom two teams in each group were eliminated from the tournament.
For the first time at a European Championship three points were awarded for a win, with one for a draw and a none for a defeat. If two or more teams were equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria were applied to determine the rankings:
- Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
- Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
- Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points);
- If, after having applied criteria 1 to 3 to more than two teams, two teams still have an equal ranking, criteria 1 to 3 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the two teams in question to determine the final rankings of the two teams. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 5 to 9 apply in the order given;
- Superior goal difference in all group matches;
- Higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
- Position using UEFA's national team coefficient ranking system calculated using average points per game from: the Euro 1992 qualifying stage and final tournament, the 1994 World Cup qualifying stage and final tournament and the Euro 1996 qualifying stage.
- Fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament);
- Drawing of lots.
|Key to colours in group tables|
|Team progressed to the quarter-finals|
Group A 
|8 June 1996|
|10 June 1996|
|13 June 1996|
|15 June 1996|
|18 June 1996|
Group B 
|9 June 1996|
|10 June 1996|
|13 June 1996|
|15 June 1996|
|18 June 1996|
Group C 
|9 June 1996|
|11 June 1996|
|14 June 1996|
|16 June 1996|
|19 June 1996|
Group D 
|9 June 1996|
|11 June 1996|
|14 June 1996|
|16 June 1996|
|19 June 1996|
Knockout stage 
The knockout stage was a single-elimination tournament involving the eight teams that qualified from the group stage of the tournament. There were three rounds of matches, with each round eliminating half of the teams entering that round, culminating in the final to decide the champions.
Any game in the knockout stage that was undecided by the end of the regular 90 minutes, was followed by up to thirty minutes of extra time (two fifteen minute halves). For the first time in a major football competition, the golden goal system was applied, whereby the match would immediately end upon either team scoring during the extra time period with the goalscoring team becoming the winner. If scores were still level after 30 minutes extra time there would be a penalty shoot-out (at least five penalties each, and more if necessary) to determine the winner.
|22 June – Liverpool|
|France (p)||0 (5)|
|26 June – Manchester|
|23 June – Birmingham|
|Czech Republic (p)||0 (6)|
|30 June – London|
|22 June – London|
|26 June – London|
|England (p)||0 (4)|
|23 June – Manchester|
|Germany (p)||1 (6)|
|22 June 1996
|Spain||0–0 (a.e.t.)||England||Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: Marc Batta (France)
|22 June 1996
|France||0–0 (a.e.t.)||Netherlands||Anfield, Liverpool
Referee: Antonio López Nieto (Spain)
|5–4|| de Kock
R. de Boer
|23 June 1996
|Germany||2–1||Croatia||Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: Leif Sundell (Sweden)
|Klinsmann 20' (pen.)
|23 June 1996
|Czech Republic||1–0||Portugal||Villa Park, Birmingham
Referee: Hellmut Krug (Germany)
|26 June 1996
|France||0–0 (a.e.t.)||Czech Republic||Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: Leslie Mottram (Scotland)
|26 June 1996
|Germany||1–1 (a.e.t.)||England||Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: Sándor Puhl (Hungary)
|Kuntz 16'||Report||Shearer 3'|
|30 June 1996
|Czech Republic||1–2 (a.e.t.)||Germany||Wembley Stadium, London
Referee: Pierluigi Pairetto (Italy)
|Berger 59' (pen.)||Report||Bierhoff 73' 95'|
- 5 goals
- 3 goals
- 2 goals
- 1 goal
- Own goal
- Lyuboslav Penev (playing against France)
- Team of the Tournament
- Golden Boot
- UEFA Player of the Tournament
Fastest goal 
Average goals 
2.06 goals per game
Slogan and theme songs 
The competition slogan was Football Comes Home reflecting that the sport's rules were first standardised in England. UEFA President Lennart Johansson had said that the organisation had felt it time to bring the event "back to the motherland of football". The slogan was incorporated into the competition's most popular song: "Three Lions" recorded by comedians Frank Skinner and David Baddiel with the Lightning Seeds. Skinner and Baddiel were then strongly connected with football owing to their BBC show Fantasy Football League. Released as a single, the song topped the UK Singles Chart for a total of three weeks. It was promoted by a video featuring the England squad.
The song was prominently sung by England fans during all their games, and was also chanted by the German team upon parading the trophy in Berlin after the tournament. It was even referenced by future Prime Minister Tony Blair in an address at the 1996 Labour Party Conference with the line: "Seventeen years of hurt, never stopped us dreaming, Labour's coming home".
Despite Three Lions being the song most strongly connected with the tournament, its official song was instead "We're in This Together" by Simply Red. The song was performed at the tournament's opening ceremony.
Merchandise and mascots 
The British Royal Mint issued a commemorative £2 coin in 1996, which featured a representation of a football, "1996" in the centre, and 16 small rings representing the 16 competing teams. Further special coins were only issued in the Isle of Man and Gibraltar.
The official mascot, 'Goaliath', was designed in a similar fashion to the original World Cup mascot from the 1966 World Cup. Goaliath comprised a lion, the image on the English team crest, dressed in an England football strip and football boots whilst holding a football under his right arm.
|Global sponsors||Event sponsors|
Terrorist attack 
A terrorist attack took place in Manchester on 15 June, one day before the group stage match between Germany and Russia was due to take place in the same city. The detonation of a van bomb in the city centre injured 212 people and caused an estimated £700 million worth of damage. Four days after the blast, the Provisional Irish Republican Army issued a statement in which it claimed responsibility, but regretted causing injury to civilians.
The Manchester bombing was the first and so far only major terrorist attack in the host city of an ongoing UEFA European Championship. The scheduled match at Old Trafford on the day following the bombing went ahead as planned after the stadium had been heavily guarded overnight and carefully searched; the game, in which Germany defeated Russia 3–0, was watched by a near capacity crowd of 50,700.
After England's defeat to Germany in the semi-finals, a large scale riot took place in Trafalgar Square and the surrounding area. Further outbreaks of trouble occurred in the streets of several other towns. The police, German-made cars were targeted, with damage also caused to various other properties. A Russian student was stabbed in Brighton after attackers mistook him for being German.
Despite this outbreak, the tournament overall was free of hooliganism, helping rehabilitate England's reputation after their fans' conduct during the previous decades. UEFA's awarding of the tournament to England was in itself a further step in bringing back the country back fully into the international fold, coming soon after their decision in 1990 to re-admit English clubs back into UEFA competitions after the indefinite ban issued to them following the Heysel Stadium disaster in 1985.
See also 
- Bevan, Chris (17 May 2012). "Euro 1996: When football came home". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation).
- White, Clive (9 June 1992). "England wait ends in 1996". The Times (London).
- Jones, Stuart (4 December 1991). "Rivals to be given extra time". The Times (London).
- Jones, Stuart (5 May 1992). "England will host 1996 Championship". The Times (London).
- Ridley, Ian (9 June 1996). "Shearer bliss, sheer agony". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Moore, Glenn (19 June 1996). "England's night of rapture". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- "Kluivert's late strike sinks Scotland". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). 19 June 1996. Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Hodgson, Guy (11 June 1996). "Dugarry makes the difference". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Hodgson, Guy (17 June 1996). "Euro `96: Clemente short of firepower". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Hodgson, Guy (19 June 1996). "France banish the ghost of Bulgaria to reach last eight". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Culley, Jon (19 June 1996). "Spanish eyes are smiling for Amor". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Hodgson, Guy (15 June 1996). "Italians left on the brink of disaster". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Shaw, Phil (20 June 1996). "Smicer strike takes Czechs through". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Moore, Glenn (20 June 1996). "Passion play not enough to save Italy". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Shaw, Phil (17 June 1996). "Euro `96: Suker sinks Denmark". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Brewin, John (1 May 2008). "Euro '96". ESPNSoccernet. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
- Moore, Glenn (24 June 1996). "Fortune favours brave England". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Turnbull, Simon (24 June 1996). "Fitful France advance". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Shaw, Phil (24 June 1996). "Croatia punished by Sammer". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Culley, Jon (24 June 1996). "Poborsky piques Portugal". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Metcalf, Rupert (25 June 1996). "Poborsky rides Euro express". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Shaw, Phil (27 June 1996). "France are sent home by Kadlec". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Moore, Glenn (27 June 1996). "Shoot-out breaks England hearts". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Jones, Ken (1 July 1996). "Vogts' triumph over adversity". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 19 June 2012.
- Jones, Stuart (1 December 1992). "UEFA has change of heart". The Times (London).
- Jones, Stuart (13 November 1992). "Championship field likely to be doubled". The Times (London).
- Hughes, Rob (22 January 1994). "Manchester's grief puts draw under cloud". The Times (London).
- Hughes, Rob (24 January 1994). "Comfort for England in playing host to Europe". The Times (London).
- "England may draw Scotland". The Independent. 16 December 1995.
- "The Official UEFA European Championship 1996 Tournament Match ball". SoccerBallWorld.com. 22 January 2004.
- "All-Star Macca". Sunday Mirror (The Free Library). 30 June 1996. Retrieved 13 July 2012.
- "UEFA Euro 2008 Information" (PDF). UEFA. p. 88. Retrieved 30 June 2008.
- Rampton, James (17 May 1996). "Song for Euro 96 ready for airplay". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Number Ones in 1996". number-ones.co.uk.
- "Blair: My Decent Society". The Independent (London). 22 October 1996.
- "Mind-bender Uri Geller". Daily Mirror (London). 8 June 1996.
- Longmore, Andrew (22 May 1996). "Euro 96 coins enjoy royal approval". The Times (London).
- "EURO 2012 mascots have big shoes to fill". UEFA.com (Union of European Football Associations). 6 December 2010.
- Carter, Meg (2 June 1996). "The fever pitch at Euro 96". The Independent (Independent Print Limited). Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Cook, Richard (24 May 1996). "Euro 96 – What’s in it for you?". PRWeek. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "IRA's message in blood". The Independent (London). 16 June 1996.
- "IRA apologises to bomb victims". The Independent (London). 20 June 1996.
- "England fans riot after defeat". The Times (London). 27 June 1996.
- Lee, Adrian (28 June 1996). "Russian stabbed for sounding like a German". The Times (London).
- Miller, David (3 June 1985). "England punished for years of indiscipline". The Times (London).
- Ball, Peter (19 April 1990). "The door opens on Europe". The Times (London).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: UEFA Euro 1996|
- UEFA Euro 1996 at UEFA.com