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UEFA Euro 2012
Mistrzostwa Europy w Piłce Nożnej 2012 (Polish)
Чемпіонат Європи з футболу 2012 (Ukrainian)

UEFA Euro 2012 official logo
Tournament details
Host countries  Poland
 Ukraine
Dates 8 June – 1 July
Teams 16
Venue(s) (in 8 host cities)
2008
2016

The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2012, will be the 14th European Championship for national football teams sanctioned by UEFA. The final tournament will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine between 8 June and 1 July 2012.

The joint Poland/Ukraine bid was chosen by UEFA's Executive Committee on 18 April 2007, in Cardiff, Wales. This bid defeated the other shortlisted bids from Italy and Croatia/Hungary, becoming the third successful joint bid for the European Championship, after those of Belgium/Netherlands, for Euro 2000, and Austria/Switzerland for Euro 2008.

This will be the last European Championship finals in which only 16 nations will participate, with Euro 2016 being the first European Championship finals with 24 competing nations. Qualification for the final tournament will be staged between September 2010 and November 2011.

Contents

Host selection process

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Bid history

UEFA 2012 Youth Art Exhibition in support of a joint Poland-Ukraine bid

The organization of the event was initially contested by five bids representing seven countries: Croatia/Hungary (joint bid), Greece, Italy, Poland/Ukraine (joint bid), and Turkey.

On 8 November 2005, UEFA's Executive Committee whittled the candidates down to a short list of three:[1]

On 31 May 2006 all three bids completed the second phase of the process by submitting more detailed dossiers. In September 2006, UEFA conducted site visits to candidate countries. The hosts were chosen on 18 April 2007 in Cardiff, Wales. The results of the voting were:

Voting Results
Country Votes
 Poland /  Ukraine 8
 Italy 4
 Croatia /  Hungary 0

Voting procedure

The voting would have been made in a maximum of two rounds. For the vote to be valid, there had to be a quorum in the meeting room, i.e. at least eight Committee members, excluding the president and his deputy who did not have the right to vote. In the first round, each member had one vote. As the Poland/Ukraine bid received an absolute majority of 8 votes, it was announced the winner and the second round was not required.

The voting was conducted by the members of the UEFA Executive Committee composed of 14 members:

  1. Michel Platini (France) - President
  2. Şenes Erzik (Turkey) - 1st Vice-President
  3. Geoff Thompson (England) - 2nd Vice-President
  4. Ángel María Villar Llona (Spain) - 3rd Vice-President
  5. Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder (Germany) - 4th Vice-President
  6. Marios N. Lefkaritis (Cyprus) - 5th Vice-President
  7. Franco Carraro (Italy)
  8. Vyacheslav Koloskov (Russia)
  9. Gilberto Madaíl (Portugal)
  10. Joseph Mifsud (Malta)
  11. Per Ravn Omdal (Norway)
  12. Mircea Sandu (Romania)
  13. Mathieu Sprengers (Netherlands)
  14. Hryhoriy Surkis (Ukraine)

Surkis and Carraro were not entitled to vote in any of the ballots, as they represent candidate countries. (UEFA official voting rules) This left 12 votes available for the three competing bids.

Other candidates

Italy

Italy had already hosted the European Football Championship finals in 1968 and 1980, and also hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1934 and 1990.

The Italian bid appeared to be the most solid of the three due to Italy's generally excellent transportation infrastructure, the wide availability of lodging for visiting fans, and the Italian football association's past experience in organising major tournaments. None of the other short-list candidates had ever hosted the finals of a major football tournament independently or as part of a joint bid, with the partial exception of Croatia. Also, the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin demonstrated the Italian ability to host a sporting event comparable to the Euro in magnitude. Italy's current status of World Cup holder was also thought to be a positive factor.

However, the 2006 Serie A scandal and the football-related violence in Catania, which led to the death of police officer Filippo Raciti and revealed safety deficiencies in many stadia, have damaged the overall standing of Italian football. Yet the Italian government's resolve to assist football authorities in solving the problem – e.g., by introducing anti-hooliganism laws and allocating funds to immediate safety improvement measures in stadia – gave hope that it might partially mitigate the risk to Italy's Euro bid. Another minor risk was potential apathy of domestic fans after repeatedly re-using the same host nation, though 22 years would have elapsed since the last major tournament at home if Italy was selected to host Euro 2012.

The following venues were proposed by the Italian Football Federation:

There were four reserve venues:

Rumours appeared about two of these cities being added later (bringing the stadia to ten, as in 2004), with Bologna and Genoa the most probable "nominees".

The cities were basically the same as for Italia 90 - and so were the stadia, with the exceptions of the Neapolitan (San Paolo) and Palermitan (La Favorita) venues, replaced by new facilities, and the Turinese Delle Alpi, under reconstruction. The remaining sites were to be improved and made safer, in order to reach the four star UEFA stadium rating required to host a game (only the five star Olimpico and San Siro and four star San Nicola currently meet the criteria).

Croatia and Hungary

The following cities were proposed by the Hungarian Football Federation and the Croatian Football Federation:

Hungary was bidding for the third time consecutively after failing to win either the Euro 2004 or the Euro 2008 bid. It teamed up with Croatia after its previous partner, Austria, opted to associate with Switzerland to (successfully) bid to host Euro 2008.

Some elements of a successful bid were already in place, though gaps remained when compared to Italy. The two capital cities, Budapest and Zagreb, as well as the popular tourist destinations of Rijeka and Split, already had decent transportation and lodging infrastructure. The favourable economic conditions of the two countries were likely to keep funds available to improve road, rail, or air networks and make the necessary infrastructure improvements in the other host cities. For instance, Croatia had built more than 700 km of new highways and expressways in the last 10 years (including a new highway to the Hungarian border) despite the recent war, and further improvements between all host cities were planned by 2012.

Despite these recent improvements, however, the road and rail networks of the two candidate countries fell short of Italy's. In addition, several factors were hampering the bid. The lack of high-quality accommodations in some areas in Hungary and Croatia and the 2006 protests in Hungary and the protest of a group of Hungarian fans during the UEFA delegation's visit to Budapest (claiming that Hungary should focus on improving its own football instead of hosting Euro 2012). Another challenge for the bid was poor league attendance in Hungary and Croatia comparing to other bidders, among all nation Hungary had the lowest average attendance with approximately 2,354, which is almost four times lower than in Ukraine and almost nine times lower than in Italy.[2]

Neither of the two countries had ever hosted similar major tournaments, although Croatia's capital Zagreb did host one semi-final and the third-place match of Euro 1976 when the country was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia has hosted the European Handball World Cup.

If the Croatian/Hungarian bid had succeeded, Zagreb's Maksimir Stadium would have hosted the opening ceremony and the opening match – and Budapest's Ferenc Puskás Stadium would have been the venue for the final.

Background

The Polish-Ukrainian hosting is seen as a way of shifting the focus towards regions and nations of central and eastern Europe[citation needed], whose population demonstrates a strong feeling for football, but are less developed in terms of the quality of the local leagues and football infrastructure, when compared with western Europe. Apart from Donetsk and Kharkiv, the host cities are all popular tourist destinations. However, it is unclear if they have sufficient experience in accommodating large numbers of visitors for extended stays, and the existing transportation infrastructure within and between both countries is inadequate to allow a rapid flow of people between the venues. In order to improve this situation, the bid plans the expansion and modernization of roads and highways (e.g., Poland's southwest–southeast A4 highway).[3] The obligatory improvement of the football infrastructure includes the building of the new Donbass Arena in Donetsk, which fits the 5-star UEFA criteria.

Readiness concerns

As of June 2008, there were no plans to hold Euro 2012 outside of Poland and Ukraine, according to UEFA.[4] However, Scotland has reportedly told UEFA it could step in and host the tournament.[4] In June 2008 Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith told BBC Sport: "We have made it clear that we'd like to be considered if it's not going ahead in Ukraine and Poland.... We haven't been told we are on standby or anything like that."[5] Platini has reiterated that "We will do everything possible so Poland and Ukraine can host Euro 2012. The only reason not to go ahead would be the absence of a stadium in Warsaw and Kiev"[citation needed]. August 2009 Platini stated that Poland, unlike Ukraine, was almost prepared to host the tournament, while suggesting UEFA could cut number of Ukrainian cities hosting Euro 2012 he left the option for Poland to organise the tournament alone open.[6]

2008

On 30 January 2008, UEFA president Michel Platini went on the record to warn the organizers of the need to avoid "critical slippages" in their preparations.[5][7] Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko replied on 11 June 2008 that Ukraine's preparations for Euro 2012 were proceeding normally and that she was confident all projects would be completed on time.[8] However, an official from the Ukrainian football federation stated the next day that Ukraine could lose the right to co-host the event due to delays in the renovation of Kiev’s Olympic stadium.[9] UEFA has been monitoring the situation closely and Platini confirmed on 26 June that a decision would be made in September 2008.[10]

In late September 2008, the Polish government suspended the PZPN (the Polish FA) and assigned an administrator. UEFA promptly issued a letter to the Polish FA. Warsaw was warned it risked losing the right to co-host Euro 2012 alongside Ukraine.[11] Scotland has reiterated their interesting in holding the 2012 tournament, should it be stripped from Poland and Ukraine as a result of this situation.[12]

On 31 October 2008, Evhen Chervonenko, the chairman of Ukraine's organizing committee, said that due to the ongoing economic crisis Ukraine is having difficulty building some of the infrastructure needed to host.[13] He said that the major projects such as airports and stadiums are on schedule, but a liquidity crunch has stalled the construction of approximately 80% of the hotels needed to host.[13]

2009

In April 2009, UEFA president Michel Platini visited the host countries to evaluate their preparations. He re-affirmed that Ukraine will remain co-host but hinted that most matches could go to Poland.[14] Following his visit to Poland, Platini announced that Polish preparations were on track and he saw no major problems.[14] According to Platini, six to eight cities will be designated and "not necessarily in equal proportion between Poland and Ukraine."[15]

In May 2009 prior to the UEFA meeting in Bucharest, the Prime Minister of Poland Donald Tusk stated: "We would be ready to host Euro 2012 in not four but in five to six cities if need be, but I think we should stick to the four plus four formula and not undermine our partnership with Ukraine."[16] The President of the Polish FA, Grzegorz Lato also expressed support for the 4 + 4 solution: "Poles and Ukrainians are in favour of an equal solution. We are a team, and this is a team game."[17]

On 13 May 2009, UEFA confirmed the appointment of the Polish cities of Warsaw, Poznań, Wrocław and Gdańsk. While Kraków had received top marks from UEFA officials, it was not chosen as there was no justification to drop any of the original favorites whose preparations were all going well.[18]

A review of preparations in Ukraine revealed shortcomings in infrastructure in all candidate cities. A final deadline of 30 November 2009 was granted to Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv to meet specific conditions regarding infrastructure, with a warning that only Kiev and the best prepared city of the other candidates would otherwise be used.[19][20] Hryhoriy Surkis, the President of the Ukrainian FA argued that UEFA should grant his country more time before making a final decision on the host cities.[21] UEFA subsequently gave three Ukraine cities, Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv, until 30 November 2009 to prove they are capable of staging Euro 2012 games. Kiev was approved as a host city for most matches but the decision on whether it would host the final was deferred. "There are huge infrastructure problems to be resolved in Ukraine," UEFA president Michel Platini said.[22]

A July 2009 Ukrainian poll by research agency IFAK found that 56% of respondents believed that Ukraine will cope with hosting Euro 2012 and that 32% of respondents believed that their country will fail to stage Euro 2012 properly.[23]

In September 2009 Platini told reporters after an UEFA executive committee meeting "Ukraine has made sudden progress in their efforts to stage the tournament"[24]. In the same month, an airport building project to meet Euro 2012 requirements was presented in Donetsk.[25]

In December 2009, UEFA confirmed that the four Ukrainian cities (Donetsk, Kharkiv, Kiev and Lviv) will host EURO 2012 matches. Kiev was also confirmed to host the final game of Euro 2012. [26]

Venues

31 matches will be played during Euro 2012, with Ukraine hosting 16 matches and Poland 15. The breakdown of hosting duties is as follows:

  • Warsaw: 3 group matches including the opening match, quarter-final, and semi-final (5 matches in total)
  • Gdańsk: 3 group matches and a quarter-final
  • Wrocław: 3 group matches
  • Poznań: 3 group matches
  • Kiev: 3 group matches, quarter-final, semi-final, and final (6 matches in total)
  • Lviv: 3 group matches
  • Kharkiv: 3 group matches
  • Donetsk: 3 group matches and a quarter-final
Infrastructure
Warsaw Poznań Wrocław Gdańsk
National Stadium
Capacity: 55,920
Municipal Stadium
Capacity: 45,830
Stadium in Maślice
Capacity: 42,771
PGE Arena Gdańsk
Capacity: 44,000
Warschau, Neubau Stadion I.JPG Poznań-stadion miejski 2009 lotn.jpg WroclawStadiumConstruction-20090727.jpg PGE Arena Gdańsk budowa 1700210.jpg
UEFA Euro 2012 en.svg
Kiev Donetsk Lviv Kharkiv
NSK Olimpiyskyi
Capacity: 69,004
Donbass Arena
Capacity: 51,504
Lemberg Stadium
Capacity: 33,500
Metalist Stadium
Capacity: 41,411
Kyiv Olympic Stadium.jpg Donbass Arena.jpg Заливання фундаменту нового стадіону у Львові.JPG Metalist arena.jpg

Former candidates

The following venues were also considered but fell out of the running as a result of the UEFA meeting on May 13, 2009.[27]

City Stadium Capacity Club Host matches
Chorzów Silesian Stadium 55,211 Poland (Górnik Zabrze, GKS Katowice, Ruch Chorzów, Polonia Bytom only in important matches) not picked by UEFA
Kraków Wisła Stadium 33,680 Wisła Kraków not picked by UEFA
Odessa Chornomorets Stadium 34,362 FC Chornomorets Odessa not picked by UEFA
Dnipropetrovsk Dnipro Stadium 31,003 FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk original plans stated it would host 3 group matches

Participation

Euro 2012 is set to feature 16 national teams, as has been the format since 1996. Many European football associations were in favour of expanding the tournament to 24 teams due to the much-increased number of UEFA members in recent years (53 in April 2006 compared to 33 prior to the break up of the Soviet Union[28] and of Yugoslavia). However, on 17 April 2007, UEFA's Executive Committee formally decided against an expansion in 2012.[29] This will be the last time a European Championship will feature 16 teams, as in September 2008 UEFA announced its plans to expand to 24 teams in Euro 2016.[30]

Qualification

The draw for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying round took place in Warsaw on 7 February 2010.[31] This was the first time the new UEFA national team coefficient was used for seeding the teams. The qualifying draw determined the makeup of nine groups. Nine groups were formed in the qualifying draw including six sections of six sides and three of five, as teams chase 14 finals places alongside co-hosts Poland and Ukraine. The seeding pots are formed on the basis of the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system, finalised after the completion of FIFA World Cup qualifying, with the reigning European champions automatically top seeded. All groups contained one nation from the first five pots and six sections also included a team from Pot 6.

Qualified teams

Country Qualified as Date qualification was secured Previous appearances in tournament
 Poland 00Co-hosts 0018 April 2007 11 (2008)
 Ukraine 01Co-hosts 0118 April 2007 01 (debut appearance)

Miscellany

The official logo for the championship was presented to the world on 14 December 2009. It takes its visual identity from Wycinanki, the traditional art of paper cutting practised in Poland and rural areas of Ukraine. The logo has a flower that represents both the host nations and a ball in the center symbolising the emotion and passion of the competition. The stem shows the structural aspect of the competition, which is UEFA and European football. In the center of each flower and the ball, is a figure of a person that has its arms up representing joy and the excitement of the competition. Nature has also inspired other features of the logo, with woodland green, sun yellow, aqua blue, sky blue and blackberry purple being the crucial tones of the palette of colors to figure in the official tournament branding.[32]

Slogan

Along with the presentation of the logo, came the slogan of the competition. The slogan that was chosen for UEFA Euro 2012 is: Creating History Together.

The venue for the UEFA European Championship finals in Poland and Ukraine is a first for Central and Eastern Europe. The competition will have a place in the history books. Everyone involved in Euro 2012 such as organizers, host countries, host cities, players, and fans contribute in creating another exciting chapter of European football.[33]

References

  1. ^ Chaplin, Mark (8 November 2005). "Trio in EURO 2012 running". UEFA. http://www.uefa.com/uefa/keytopics/kind=4194304/newsid=364810.html. Retrieved 19 April 2007. 
  2. ^ Italy Favored to Host European Soccer Tourney in 2012 (Update1)
  3. ^ Poland 'confident' on Euro 2012 chances despite jitters
  4. ^ a b "No plans to hold Euro 2012 outside of Poland and Ukraine, UEFA says". International Herald Tribune (Vienna: AP). 12 June 2008. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2008/06/12/sports/EU-SPT-SOC-UEFA-Euro-2012.php. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "Scots eye Euro 2012 rescue plan". BBC. 5 June 2008. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/internationals/7437379.stm. 
  6. ^ UEFA could cut number of Ukrainian cities hosting Euro 2012, says Platini, Interfax-Ukraine (August 10, 2009)
  7. ^ Platini warns Poland, Ukraine on Euro 2012 delays
  8. ^ Popeski, Ron (11 June 2008). "Soccer-Ukraine Prime Minister optimistic on Euro 2012 plans". Reuters UK (Kiev: Reuters). http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldFootballNews/idUKL1178662020080611. Retrieved 11 June 2008. 
  9. ^ Sorokina, Lyubov (12 June 2008). "Ukraine may lose Euro 2012 due to stadium, says official". Yahoo! Sports (Lviv, Ukraine: Reuters). http://sports.yahoo.com/sow/news?slug=reu-euroukraine&prov=reuters&type=lgns. Retrieved 12 June 2008. 
  10. ^ "Mehr als 16 Teams? "Es wäre gut für die Engländer" (Michel Platini interview)" (in German). Kicker Magazine. 26 June 2008. http://www.kicker.de/news/fussball/em/startseite/artikel/209746/. 
  11. ^ "FIFA hand Polish government FA ultimatum". ESPN (Brussels: Reuters). 1 October 2008. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=577955&sec=europe&cc=5901. Retrieved 2 October 2008. 
  12. ^ "Scotland ready to be saviours of Euro 2012". ESPN. 1 October 2008. http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=577794&sec=europe&cc=5901. Retrieved 2 October 2008. 
  13. ^ a b "Crisis threatens Ukraine as Euro 2012 host". Sports Illustrated (Kiev: AP). 31 October 2008. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/soccer/10/31/bc.soc.ukraine.euro2012.ap/index.html. Retrieved 31 October 2008. 
  14. ^ a b Lucas, Ryan (2009-04-16). "Platini: Poland's Euro 2012 preparations on track". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2009-04-16-2568237155_x.htm. Retrieved 2009-04-20. 
  15. ^ "Platini: the preparations are heading in a right direction". 2012.org.pl. 2009-04-16. http://www.2012.org.pl/en/news/news/62-aktualnoci/1083-platini-przygotowania-zmierzaj-we-waciwym-kierunku.html. Retrieved 2009-04-21. 
  16. ^ Wasilewski, Patrick (2009-05-10). "Soccer-Polish venues on track for Euro 2012, prime minister says". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/UK_WORLDFOOTBALL/idUKL938672520090510?sp=true. Retrieved 2009-05-11. 
  17. ^ "UEFA names four Polish Euro 2012 host cities, one in Ukraine". The Canadian Press. 2009-05-13. http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5it8f_MOzCKu2hxVHUUXwOvzetMIw. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  18. ^ Nitsak, Igor (2009-05-13). "Ukraine puts a brave face on Euro 2012 decision". Reuters. http://football.uk.reuters.com/european/news/LD643417.php. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  19. ^ "Selection of host cities for UEFA EURO 2012". UEFA.com. 2009-05-13. http://www.uefa.com/uefa/keytopics/kind=64/newsid=829457.html. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  20. ^ Collett, Mike (2009-05-13). "Kiev could lose right to stage Euro 2012 final". Reuters. http://football.uk.reuters.com/european/news/LD837137.php. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  21. ^ Nitsak, Igor (2009-05-14). "Ukraine persuaded UEFA to delay 2012 cities decision". Reuters. http://uk.reuters.com/article/sportsNews/idUKTRE54D30320090514. Retrieved 2009-05-14. 
  22. ^ "Ukraine handed Euro 2012 deadline". BBC Sport. 2009-05-13. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/8047594.stm. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  23. ^ "Most Ukrainians believe Ukraine will host Euro 2012 at a proper level, according to poll". Interfax-Ukraine. 2009-07-21. http://www.interfax.com.ua/eng/main/17491/. Retrieved 2009-07-21. 
  24. ^ Platini sees sudden progress from Euro co-hosts Ukraine, Reuters (September 15, 2009)
  25. ^ Events by themes: Air-port building project to Euro-2012 is presented in Donetsk. UNIAN
  26. ^ "UEFA confirms four host cities in Ukraine". UEFA.com. 2009-12-12. http://www.uefa.com/uefa/keytopics/kind=64/newsid=933832.html. 
  27. ^ Surkis says Odesa mayor promised much, did little with respect to Euro 2012, Kyiv Post (December 15, 2009)
  28. ^ UEFA to consider 24-team EURO [1], [2]
  29. ^ UEFA verdicts from Cardiff
  30. ^ "EURO 2016 to expand number of teams". WSN. 2008-09-25. http://www.wsn.com/2008/09/25/football/news/2008-european-championship/euro-2016-to-expand-number-of-teams_23291/. Retrieved 2009-09-16. 
  31. ^ Chaplin, Mark (30 January 2009). "UEFA lays out priorities for 2009". uefa.com (Union of European Football Associations). http://www.uefa.com/uefa/keytopics/kind=64/newsid=796459.html. Retrieved 9 March 2009. 
  32. ^ http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro2012/news/newsid=934390.html
  33. ^ http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro2012/news/newsid=934390.html

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