UEFA Euro 2016
|Championnat d'Europe de football 2016 (French)|
Logo of UEFA Euro 2016
|Dates||10 June – 10 July 2016|
|Venue(s)||10 (in 9 host cities)|
The 2016 UEFA European Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2016, will be the 15th European Championship for men's national football teams organised by UEFA. It will be held in France from 10 June to 10 July 2016.
For the first time, the European Championship final tournament will be contested by 24 teams, having been expanded from the 16-team format that had been used since 1996. Under this new format, it is proposed that the finalists will contest a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams, followed by a knockout stage including three rounds and the final. As hosts, France are automatically qualified for the final tournament, while the other 53 national teams will compete in a qualifying competition, running from September 2014 to November 2015, to secure the remaining 23 places. Among these teams are back-to-back defending champions Spain, and for the first time since their affiliation with UEFA, Gibraltar.
France was chosen as the host on 28 May 2010, after a bidding process in which they beat Italy and Turkey for the right to host the 2016 finals. The matches will be played in ten stadia in nine cities: Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, St-Etienne and Toulouse. It will be the third time that France hosts the tournament, after the inaugural edition in 1960 and the 1984 finals. The French team have won the European Championship two times: in 1984 and 2000.
Four bids came before the deadline at 9 March 2009 which were France, Italy and Turkey as single bids each, plus Norway and Sweden as a joint bid. Norway and Sweden eventually withdrew their bid in December 2009.
The host was selected on 28 May 2010:
There was controversy concerning the decision to give the Euro 2016 to France over Turkey. After the decision was announced, responding to the question "During Sepp Blatter's term Euro 2008 was awarded to Switzerland, during your term Euro 2016 is awarded to France, is this the new trend?" Michel Platini said "When there is a Turkish president, then you can host a major tournament".
Guus Hiddink, who was Turkey manager at the time, was also highly critical of the decision, stating: "This proves once again that in top-flight football the game is run by politics", and "UEFA gave the Euro 2016 finals to France, who have already had the tournament twice and they also had the World Cup finals in 1998. This does not feel right. I get the feeling that the actual bid was about other things. Otherwise the choice for France as hosting nation, the country of UEFA president Platini, cannot be explained."
Before the bidding process, Platini introduced then French president Nicolas Sarkozy to every member of the decision committee in person, while he did not do the same for the Turkish president Abdullah Gül. After the decision Platini concluded: "I'm happy because France has won, and I'm French — let's not forget it."
To accommodate the expansion from a 16 team finals tournament to 24 teams, it was proposed that the format be changed from that used in 2012 with the addition of two extra groups in the group stage, and an extra round in the knockout stages. The six groups (A to F) would still contain four teams each, with the top two from each group still going through to the knockout stage. In the new format however, the four best third-ranked sides would also progress, to leave 16 teams going into the new round of 16 knockout stage, ahead of the usual quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
This format generates a total of 51 to 52 games, compared with 31, to be played over a period of 29 to 31 days. UEFA's general secretary Gianni Infantino has described proposed format as "not ideal" due to the need for third place group stage winners, leading to a difficulty in preventing situations where teams might be able to know in advance what results they need to progress out of the group, lending to a lack of suspense for fans, or even the prospect of mutually beneficial collusion between teams.
The qualifying matches will start in September 2014. With the expansion to 24 teams, middle-ranked countries have a much greater chance of qualifying for the finals than earlier. The qualifying draw will take place at the Palais des Congrès Acropolis, Nice, on 23 February 2014.
53 teams will chase 23 finals places to join hosts France. The seeding pots would be formed on the basis of the UEFA national team coefficients, finalised after the completion of 2014 World Cup qualification, with the Euro 2012 champions automatically top seeded.
UEFA has not confirmed the format for the qualification, but Gianni Infantino stated in March 2012 that UEFA would review the qualification competition to ensure that it was not "boring". In September 2011, during UEFA's first ever full strategy meeting, Michel Platini proposed a qualification format involving two group stages, but the proposal wasn't accepted by the member associations. In May 2013, Platini confirmed a similar qualifying format will be again discussed during the September 2013 UEFA executive committee meeting, set to take place in Dubrovnik.
|Country||Qualified as||Date qualification was secured||Previous appearances in tournament12|
|France||Hosts||28 May 2010||8 (1960, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
1 Bold indicates champion for that year
2 Italic indicates host for that year
Initially, twelve stadia were presented for the French bid, chosen on 28 May 2010. These venues were to be whittled down to nine by the end of May 2011, but it was suggested in June 2011 that eleven venues might be used. The French Football Federation had to choose which nine stadia would actually be used. The choice for the first seven was undisputed – France's national stadium, the Stade de France, four newly constructed stadia in Lille, Lyon, Nice and Bordeaux, and those of the biggest cities, Paris and Marseille. The last two remaining places, after Strasbourg opted out for financial reasons following relegation, were chosen to be Lens and Nancy in the first round of voting, instead of Saint-Étienne and Toulouse, chosen as reserve stadia. In June 2011, the number of host venues was increased to eleven because of the new tournament format which sees 24 teams taking part, instead of just 16. The decision means that the reserve cities of Toulouse and St-Étienne joined the list of hosts. However, in December 2011, Nancy announced its withdrawal from the tournament, after the stadium's renovation fell through, so ten host cities will now be used. Nantes and Montpellier, stadia used for the 1998 World Cup, were also not chosen. The final list of the ten venues was confirmed by the UEFA Executive Committee on 25 January 2013.
|Saint-Denis 2 5||Marseille 1 2 3 4||Lyon 1 2 4 5||Villeneuve-d'Ascq|
|Stade de France||Stade Vélodrome||Stade des Lumières||Stade Pierre-Mauroy|
|Capacity: 80,000||Capacity: 65,500
|Paris 1 2 3 4||
|Parc des Princes|
|Bordeaux 1 2|
|Saint-Étienne 2 4 5||Nice||Lens 2 4||Toulouse 1 2|
|Stade Geoffroy-Guichard||Allianz Riviera||Stade Félix-Bollaert||Stadium Municipal|
|Capacity: 35,200(upgraded)||Capacity: 33,000
Note: Capacity figures are those for matches at UEFA Euro 2016 and are not necessarily the total capacity that the stadium is capable of holding.
The qualifying draw will take place at the Palais des Congres Acropolis in Nice on 23 February 2014. The draw for the finals will take place at the Palais des Congrès de la Porte Maillot in Paris on 11 December 2015.
Logo and slogan
The official logo was unveiled on 26 June 2013, during a ceremony at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines in Paris. Conceived by Portuguese agency Brandia Central, which also created the visual identity for the previous European Championship, the design is based on the theme "Celebrating the art of football". The logo depicts the Henri Delaunay trophy with the blue, white and red colors of the French flag, surrounded by a mixture of shapes and lines representing different artistic movements and football elements.
On 17 October 2013, UEFA announced the official slogan of the tournament: Le Rendez-Vous. Asked about its meaning, Jacques Lambert, chairman of the Euro 2016 organising committee, told that the slogan "is much more than a reminder of dates (...) and venues". He further explained that "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."
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- UEFA Euro 2016 – Information at Union of European Football Associations
- UEFA Euro 2016 – Bid Evaluation Report at Union of European Football Associations
- Official French bid website at French Football Federation