The 2012 UEFA European Football Championships, better known as Euro 2012, is the 14th Championship Finals between Europe’s National Teams organized by Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Held every four years as the culmination of years of competition between 51 of the member Football Associations across Europe, 16 teams have reached the Finals (24 teams will advance starting with Euro 2016) to be held in Poland and Ukraine from June 8th to July 1st, 2012.
The two countries host cities are Warsaw, Gdansk, Wroclaw, Poznan, Kiev, Lviv, Donetsk and Kharkiv. Each city’s stadium has had to meet a strict UEFA criteria, six are brand new stadiums with the remaining two receiving extensive upgrades to make the cut.
The 16 participating teams are: Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Poland (co-hosts), Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Russia, Spain (defending champions), Sweden, Ukraine (co-hosts).
The 16 teams are divided into 4 groups for the round-robin stage, each of the 4 groups will be based around to two of the stadium to ease the travel burden for the teams.
The groups are:
Group A: Poland, Greece, Russia, Czech Republic
Group B: Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Portugal
Group C: Spain, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Croatia
Group D: Ukraine, Sweden, France, England
The Top 2 teams from each group advance to the Quarter Finals and onward, Group B looks like the proverbial “Group of Death” with four strong contenders to advance. Defending Champions, Spain, with many of their Euro 2008 and World Cup 2012 squad returning stand a very good chance of repeating. The England squad, returning to the competition after failing to qualify for Euro 2008 hope to rain on Spain’s parade.
Action kicks off from Warsaw on June 8th with the opening match featuring Poland versus Russia. In Canada we can catch all the matches on TSN on TV and on radio with the TSN and TEAM radio stations across the country.