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Sunday, June 3, 2012

UEFA Euro 2012


 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012, will be the 14th European Championship for national football teams organised by UEFA. The final tournament will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine between 8 June and 1 July 2012. It is the first time that either nation has hosted the tournament. This bid was chosen by UEFA's Executive Committee in 2007.

The final tournament features 16 nations, the last European Championship to do so (from Euro 2016 onward, there will be 24 finalists). Qualification was contested by 51 nations between August 2010 and November 2011 to join the two host nations in the tournament. The winner of the tournament gains automatic entry to the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup hosted by Brazil.

Venues

Eight cities have been selected by UEFA as host venues. In a return to the format used at Euro 1992, Euro 1996 and Euro 2008, each of the four groups will be based around two stadiums each.

The host cities Warsaw, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Poznań, Kiev, Lviv are all popular tourist destinations, unlike Donetsk and Kharkiv (the latter having replaced Dnipropetrovsk as a host city in 2009).

The obligatory improvement of the football infrastructure includes the building of new stadiums: six of the eight venues are brand new stadiums currently being constructed ready to open in advance of the tournament; the remaining two (in Poznań and Kharkiv) have undergone major renovations to improve them.Three of the stadiums will fulfill the criteria of UEFA's highest category stadiums.

Host selection

The joint Poland–Ukraine bid was chosen by a vote of the UEFA Executive Committee at a meeting in Cardiff on 18 April 2007, defeating both Italy and a Croatia–Hungary bid. Poland–Ukraine became the third successful joint bid for the European Championship, after those of Belgium–Netherlands (2000) and Austria–Switzerland (2008). Italy had been considered favourites to win the hosting but incidents of fan violence and a match fixing scandal were widely cited as factors behind their failure.
Participating teams

The finals will feature sixteen national teams, as has been the format since 1996. Some European football associations were in favour of expanding the tournament to 24 teams, although the number of UEFA members had hardly increased since the last tournament extension in 1996 (53 in April 2006 compared to 48 for Euro 1996). In April 2007, UEFA's Executive Committee formally decided against an expansion for 2012.

Twelve of the sixteen finalists participated at the previous tournament in 2008, with England and Denmark returning having last participated in 2004. The Republic of Ireland return after an absence of 24 years to make their second appearance at a European finals. One of the co-hosts, Ukraine, make their debut as an independent nation, having previously won the inaugural competition in 1960 as part of the Soviet Union.

Euro 2008 winners Spain have qualified to defend their title. They will compete to win an unprecedented third consecutive major tournament, having won both UEFA Euro 2008 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Broadcasting

In January 2012, it was announced that TP (Polish Telecom) and Orange had successfully completed the first phase of tests of the technology infrastructure and services to be provided during the competition to bring connectivity to over twenty locations in Poland (host cities, stadiums, hotels for UEFA representatives) and between Poland and Ukraine.

According to UEFA requirements, TP will ensure approximately 2х70 Gbit/sec data communication speed from Polish stadiums and 2х140 Gbit/sec between Poland and Ukraine. This is required due to the fact that the matches are planned to be broadcast in HD quality. The multilateral production will utilise 31 cameras to cover the action on and around the pitch at every match, with additional cameras following activities around the game, such as team arrivals at the stadiums, interviews, and media conferences.

The official Euro 2012 broadcasting centre will be located at the Expo XXI International Centre in Warsaw.

Logo and slogan

The competition slogan, Creating History Together (Polish: Razem tworzymy przyszłość, Ukrainian: Творимо історію разом / Tvorymo istoriyu razom), was announced along with the logo. The slogan reflects the fact that Poland and Ukraine were united in the past as one country and now represent ambitions of two eastern nations to perform the best tournament in the history of European Championship.

The official logo for the tournament was unveiled at a special event at Mykhailivska Square, Kiev, on 14 December 2009. It takes its visual identity from Wycinanki or Vytynanky, traditional form of paper cutting practised in rural areas of Poland and Ukraine. The art form symbolises the nature of the rural areas of both countries. As part of the event, landmark buildings in the eight host cities were illuminated with the tournament logo.

Trophy

The Henri Delaunay Trophy began a journey through the host cities seven weeks before the start of the tournament. A hundred days before the first match a 35.5-metre-high (116 ft) hot air balloon in the shape of the trophy was flown in Nyon, Switzerland and will visit 14 cities throughout the host countries, reminding spectators of the impending tournament. 20 April 2012 was started Trophy Tour during which will visit Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Poznań, Kraków, Katowice and Łódź cities. After Polish cities, Trophy will visit seven Ukrainian cities: Kiev, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Odesa.

Merchandising

UEFA signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to help promote the tournament. Warner Bros. agreed to license the following to the third parties: Accessories, Apparel, Automotive accessories, Baby personal care and accessories, Bags, Computer accessories, Drinking vessels, Footwear, General souvenirs, Home textiles, Houseware products and accessories, Jewellery, Publications, Sports accessories, Stationery and writing instruments, Toys and games.Music

The official Euro 2012 song is "Endless Summer" by the German singer Oceana. In addition, UEFA has retained the melody that was composed by Rollo Armstrong of Faithless on its behalf for the 2008 tournament.

The official Polish song for the tournament is "Koko Euro Spoko" by the folk band Jarzębina. The Republic of Ireland has also produced an official song: "The Rocky Road to Poland" recorded by a collaboration of Irish performers has already reached number 1 in Ireland. In Spain, the broadcasting company Mediaset España commissioned the song "No hay 2 sin 3", performed by David Bisbal and Cali & El Dandee and produced by RedOne.

Claimed problems in preparation

In January 2008, UEFA president Michel Platini warned the organisers of the need to avoid "critical slippages" in their preparations, prompting Scotland to volunteer as an alternative host twice. However, by June 2008, UEFA stated they were "not discussing any plan B in terms of new countries" hosting.
Ukraine reported several problems which threatened their ability to co-host, including delays in the renovation of Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, and difficulties funding infrastructure work after the economic crisis struck. After an inspection in April 2009, Platini re-affirmed that Ukraine would remain co-host, hinting that most matches could go to Poland. Polish Prime Minister, Donald Tusk, stated that his country would be capable of the task, but was committed to the original plans, as was the PZPN.
In September 2009, Platini announced that "Ukraine has made sudden progress in their efforts to stage the tournament, and it was soon confirmed that their four cities (Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kiev and Lviv) would host matches. Kiev was also confirmed to host the Final.
An interview Platini gave to the German FA in May 2010, suggesting that Germany and Hungary could replace Ukraine unless improvements were made, cast new doubt on their readiness. However, by August, Platini revisited that and stated "You can consider that the ultimatum no longer exists, and that he was optimistic about preparations in both countries and saw no major obstacles. After a UEFA delegation visited Ukraine in September 2011, he stated the country was "virtually ready for Euro 2012".
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