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UEFA European Championship Men's Tournament Complete Information

UEFA European Championship Men's Tournament Complete Information
UEFA European Championship Men's Tournament Complete Information

The Beginnings, Expansion of Teams, and Tournament Format of the UEFA European Championship Men's Tournament!

The UEFA European Football Championship, popularly known as the Euros and less formally as the European Championship, is the main association football competition organized by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). This tournament is conducted by senior men's national teams from UEFA members, to select the continental champion of Europe. Since 1960, the tournament has been conducted every four years, except in 2020, which was delayed to 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, despite the name remaining the same. This was formerly known as the European Nations' Cup and was held in the even-numbered year between FIFA World Cup competitions until 1968 when this was renamed to its current name. Historical events have been promoted as "UEFA Euro year" from 1996.

Every team competes in a qualifying procedure before joining the event, except for the host country, which qualifies automatically. Before 2016, title winners were allowed, but not required, to play in the following FIFA Confederations Cup.

Ten national teams have won the sixteen European Championship tournaments: Germany, as well as Spain both, have won 3 matches, Italy and France both have won 2 matches, while the Soviet Union, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, as well as Portugal all have won 1 match. Spain would be the first team in history who win successive World Cups, having done since in 2008 as well as 2012. Just after FIFA World Cup, it is the world's second-most-watched football competition. The worldwide viewership of over 300 million people tuned in to witness play Euro 2012 finals.

Italy won the most recent tournament, which was contested across Europe in 2021 (after being postponed from 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic), after defeating England on penalties in the final at Wembley Stadium in London.

History: The Tournament Began!

Henri Delaunay, the secretary-general of the French Football Federation, introduced the concept for a pan-European football competition in 1927, but the event did not begin until 1958, 3 years afterward Delaunay died. This victors' cup is named after Delaunay in his honor. Four teams competed in the finals of the 1960 event, which was hosted in France, out of a total of 17 that entered. The Soviet Union won it in a nail-biting final in Paris, defeating Yugoslavia 2–1. Because of two political demonstrations, Spain pulled out of their quarter-final match against the Soviet Union. England, the Netherlands, West Germany, as well as Italy were among the 17 teams who competed throughout the qualification competition.

This following event was held in Spain in 1964, with 29 teams participating in the qualification round; West Germany was a noticeable omission once again, while Greece resigned after just being placed against Albania, who together they were also in conflict. At the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, the hosts defeated the reigning champions, the Soviet Union, 2–1.

This tournament structure was unchanged again for the 1968 event, which Italy hosted and won. After the game against Yugoslavia ended 1–1, the final was decided by a coin toss for the first and only time (the semi-final Italy against the Soviet Union). The rematch was won by Italy with a score of 2–0. The competition drew a larger number of teams (31), demonstrating its growing popularity.

West Germany won the 1972 championship, defeating the Soviet Union 3–0 throughout the final at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels, thanks to goals from Gerd Müller (twice) and Herbert Wimmer. Because the German team included several leading figures of such 1974 FIFA World Cup Champions, this competition would serve as a preview of things to come.

In 1976 tournament in Yugoslavia was the final tournament in which just four teams competed, which was also the final event in which the organizers would have to qualify. In such a newly introduced penalty shootout, Czechoslovakia defeated West Germany. Uli Hoeneß missed after seven successful conversions, giving Antonn Panenka of Czechoslovakia the chance to score as well as win the championship. Czechoslovakia triumphed 5–3 on penalties thanks to an "audacious" chipped shot that UEFA hailed as "probably the most famous spot kick of all time."

Increasing the number of teams to 8

The 1980 event, which was once again hosted by Italy, saw the competition enlarged to eight teams. This consisted of a group stage, with the group winners advancing towards the final as well as the runners-up advancing to such 3rd play-off. Horst Hrubesch scored two goals as West Germany defeated Belgium 2–1 in the Stadio Olimpico in Rome to win their second European title. Horst Hrubesch scored the game's opening goal in the first half, but in the second half, René Vander Eycken equalized with a free-kick against Belgium. From such a Karl-Heinz Rummenigge corner, Hrubesch headed the winner for West Germany with two minutes remaining.

Throughout the 1984 tournament, France achieved their first world championship at home, and captain Michel Platini scored 9 goals in only five matches, along with the game-winning goal in a 2–0 victory over Spain. The tournament format was also modified, with both the winning team in each group progressing towards the semi-final phase rather than the group winners going directly towards the final. This play-off for 3rd position was also removed.

West Germany organized UEFA Euro 1988, however lost 2–1 in the semi-finals towards the Netherlands, their traditional opponents, sparking wild celebrations throughout the Netherlands. In such a replay from their first match of the group stage, the Netherlands defeated the Soviet Union 2–0 at the Olympia Stadion in Munich, a match in which Marco van Basten scored one of the most remembered goals in football history, a magnificent volley over the keeper again from right-wing.

UEFA Euro 1992 was organized in Sweden as well as won by Denmark, who were only in the finals because UEFA refused to let Yugoslavia compete since parts of the nations that make up the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia were at odds. In the semi-finals, the Danes overcame holders the Netherlands on penalties before defeating world champion Germany 2–0. This would be the first major event in which a united Germany competed, as well as the first in which the players' names were written on their backs.

The total number of teams has been expanded to 24

This extension of the event was requested in 2007 by the Football Association of Ireland and the Scottish Football Association and was later approved by the UEFA Executive Committee during September 2008. Only three of UEFA's 54 member associations objected towards the enlargement, among England and Germany. UEFA declared on May 28, 2010, that France would host the 2016 UEFA Euros. Turkey (7–6 in the second voting round) as well as Italy, which received the lowest votes during the first polling session, were defeated by France. The 2016 Euro championships were the first to feature 24 teams.

France organized the competition for the third time this year. Portugal won the match by defeating strongly favored host nation France 1–0 in the final, owing to a goal from Eder in the 109th minute, despite placing third in their group. Cristiano Ronaldo, the world-famous striker from Portugal, was forced to leave the game in the 25th minute due to injury. It was Portugal's first big tournament victory.

Turkey, a combination offer from the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, as well as Wales, or a joint bid from Georgia & Azerbaijan also were suggested for the 2020 event. UEFA, on the other hand, confirmed in December 2012 that the 2020 tournament will be held in many locations around Europe, with semi-finals as well as final taking place in London. On the 19th of September, 2014, UEFA chose and announced the venues. Due to the delay in the construction of the Euro stadium, Brussels was withdrawn as a host city on December 7, 2017. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, UEFA stated on March 17, 2020, that Euro 2020 would be postponed by a year, and this would further be held from June 11 to July 11, 2021. This tournament was delayed because relieve the burden on impacted nations' public services and also make room throughout the calendar for such completion of local leagues which had been interrupted. Dublin was also dropped as a host city for Euro 2020 owing to its inability to guarantee stadium attendance, while Bilbao was replaced by Seville for the same purpose.

The Tournament Format: The competition is as follows

Exactly 4 teams competed for the championship tournament before 1980. 8 teams played in the tournament starting in 1980. Because it was simpler for European nations to win the World Cup than for their continental championship, the tournament was expanded to 16 teams in 1996. At 1982, 1986, and 1990 World Cups, 14 of the 24 teams were European, whereas the European Championship finals still had only 8 teams.

Due to the growing number of football associations throughout Europe just after break-ups of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, as well as the Soviet Union, as well as the inclusion of Israel and In 2007, there was substantial talk in Kazakhstan regarding increasing the competition beyond 24 teams, like Scotland as well as the Republic of Ireland suggested. Michel Platini, UEFA's new president, was said to be in favor of enlargement, this turned out to be correct. While the UEFA executive committee formally ruled against expansion in 2012 on April 17, 2007, Platini stated in June 2008 that UEFA will enhance participation in future tournaments from 16 to 24 teams beginning in 2016.

Franz Beckenbauer declared on September 25 that a deal had been made, and also that the expansion of 24 nations might be confirmed the next day.

All teams that compete are selected through a series of qualifying games: home and away play-offs in 1960 and 1964, and a combination of qualifying groups and play-off games in 1968. These 4 finalists were picked by qualifying, and the host country was chosen from among them.

Since the final tournament's expansion in 1980, the host nation (as well as countries) have already been picked in advance as well as immediately qualified.

Qualifying for the UEFA European Championships

The team should finish in one of the qualifying slots as well as win the play-off to qualify. After that, the team advances to the finals round in the host nation, although hosts qualify automatically for the event. This qualification period starts nearly two years before the finals, in the fall after the previous FIFA World Cup.

The UEFA committee uses selection to create qualifying groups. Reigning champions and other teams are ranked based on their performance during previous FIFA World Cup qualifications as well as European Championship qualifying. This rating is created to get a clear picture of the teams' skills.

This would be computed by dividing a team's total number of points won by the number of games played, resulting in points per game. Only the scores from the single most recent qualifying competition are utilized if a team has hosted one of the two prior contests and so qualified directly. Whenever two teams use the same number of points per game, the committee will rank them according to:

1. Factor based on matches played in some of the most current qualifying tournaments.

2. Goal differential on average

3. The number of goals scored is a proportion of the overall number of goals scored.

4. The amount of goals scored on the journey is on average.

5. Lots are drawn.

Final tournament of the UEFA European Championship qualification

For such a 2012 event, sixteen teams advanced to the final round. They have co-hosted Poland as well as Ukraine, champions of the nine qualifying groups and the top second-place team, and also champions of four play-off matches between the other groups' runners-up. Each of the sixteen teams was separated into four teams: A, B, C, as well as D, each with 4 groups. This UEFA administration, once again, used seeding to create the groupings. These group winners are the host countries, the reigning champions (if they qualify), as well as the teams with both the highest goals per game rankings from the tournament's qualification stage as well as past World Cup qualifiers. The remaining finalists were selected by a draw based on factors.

The increase to 24 teams for the 2016 event means that participants would be divided into six teams of 4, well with 6 league champions, 6 groups runners-up, as well as the 4 top third-placed teams qualifying the round of 16, whenever the tournament would become a competitive tournament.

These groups are once again contested in a league system, with each club facing off against its opponents once. So same point system is applied in both cases (three points for a win, one point for a draw, no points for a defeat). All group stage matches would be scheduled, although the last 2 rounds in each group should start simultaneously time. Each group's winner and runner-up advance towards the following round, which uses a knockout format (the two groups face each other once, as well as the winner advances). This method is used in all subsequent rounds as well. All quarter-finals champions go to the semi-finals, in which the winners compete in the finals.

Extra time, as well as penalties, are used to distinguish two teams if the scores are still tied after normal playing time in any of the knockout stages. The competition does not include a third-place playoff, unlike the FIFA World Cup.

Credit - Komal Sharma, Direct News 99