European Football Championship

Maybe not many people in the USA know it, but at present Europe is football. The final tournament of the 14th European Championship for national football teams, commonly referred to as EURO 2012, is on. It is being held between June 08, 2012 and July 01, 2012 and a lot of people in Europe (and not only in Europe) sit around their TV sets in the evenings to follow it.

The European Football Championship is a significant event of national football teams in Europe. It is organized by UEFA and is held every four years. It was first held in 1960 under the name of the European Nations Cup. The current name was introduced in 1968.

While chatting with a friend of mine, a worker at a Spanish Translation Houston Agency, I mentioned the fact and since he got interested in the issue, I made a brief research. The idea to organize such a championship belongs to the French journalist Gabriel Ano, supported by Secretary General of the French Football Federation, Henri Delaunay. At the UEFA Congress in Stockholm on January 27, 1958 it was decided (by 15 votes “for” and 13 “against”) to conduct the tournament for European nations. The award the winner gets is a big silver amphora, named after Henri Delaunay. The tournament is held every 4 years between the World Cup championships.

The tournament is presently being hosted by Poland and Ukraine – two European countries my friend from the Portland Translation Services Agency had barely heard of. This is the first time that either nation has hosted the tournament. Unfortunately, neither Poland, nor Ukraine made it through the group stage, which makes it the second European Championship so far to have none of the hosts passed through the first round.

This is the last final tournament that features 16 nations – from the next (Euro 2016) tournament the finalists will be 24. Eight venues host the tournament – four in Poland and four in Ukraine, five of which were built especially for the purpose. The event also required heavy investment in improving infrastructure to cope with the large influx of football fans.

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