With UEFA Euro 16 kicking off on Friday we found these facts about the tournament for you:
For the First Time There will be 24 Teams Participating
Since 1996, there has been a total of 16 teams participating in Europe’s biggest football tournament. 5 Euro’s later, we will finally witness 24 teams! That’s an increase of 8 teams!
Gibraltar Entered Qualifications for the Very First Time
Gibraltar is the only team that has never entered the qualification stage before. Gibraltar applied for full UEFA membership and was finally accepted by the UEFA Congress in May 2013. Gibraltar is the smallest UEFA member in terms of population, which is around 30,000. The nation however is not a full FIFA member so they can’t qualify for a FIFA World Cup (yet).
France Beat 2 Countries for Euro 2016 Hosting Rights
5 countries placed an official bid: France, Italy, Turkey, Norway and Sweden (Norway and Sweden placed their bid as a joint bid, but they withdrew in December 2009) Of these 5 countries, only Turkey has never hosted a Euro or World Cup.
In Round 1 of the voting, UEFA Executive Committee ranked the 3 highest bids. France, Turkey and Italy, with Italy being third.
In the second and last Round of the voting, the same UEFA comittee had to vote for France or Turkey. France received 7 votes and Turkey 6 votes.
France Will Host the Tournament for a Record 3rd Time
The first edition being Euro in 1960 and Euro 1984. In 1984 France won the tournament on home soil by defeating Spain with 2-0. This was the second and last time so far a country won the tournament on home soil. The first time was Italy in Euro 1968.
The Euro 2016 Logo Contains the Trophy and Colours of the French Flag
The design of the Euro 2016 logo is based on the theme “Celebrating the art of football”. The logo shows the Henri Delaunay trophy which is awarded to the champions of the tournament. The trophy contains the blue, white and red colours of the French flag, surrounded by a mixture of shapes and lines representing different artistic movements and football elements.
The Euro 2016 Slogan is Le Rendez-Vous
On 17 October 17 2013, UEFA announced the official slogan of Euro 2016: Le Rendez-Vous.. The slogan refers to the fact that France will host the tournament for a third time and that the best football teams will meet once again.
Super Victor is the Official Euro 2016 Mascot
The mascot is half child and half superhero. He wears the French kit with a red cape, completing the national colours of France. His cape, boots, gloves and ball are claimed to be the child’s superpowers which Victor found in a treasury, enabling him to fly.
Cheapest Euro 2016 Tickets Will Cost €25
The cheapest price for a Euro 2016 ticket is €25 and is available for 43 of the 51 matches. For all matches except the Final, there will be tickets available under €100..
10 Host Cities and 10 Stadiums Will be Used for the Matches
1. Saint-Denis – Stade de France
2. Marseille – Stade Vélodrome
3. Lyon – Stade des Lumières
4. Lille – Stade Pierre-Mauroy
5. Paris – Parc des Princes
6. Bordeaux – Stade Bordeaux-Atlantique
7. Saint-Étienne – Stade Geoffroy-Guichard
8. Nice – Allianz Riviera
9. Lens – Stade Félix-Bollaert
10. Toulouse – Stadium Municipal
Group Winners, Runners-up, and Best Four Third-Placed Teams Advance to the Round of 16
With the amount of 24 teams, there has to be a new system introduced when it comes to the amount of teams that will advance. There will be 6 groups now containing 4 teams. The 2 top teams still advance to the next round and the 4 best third placed teams will also advance to the next round: Here the knock-out stage starts. The system is basically the same as was used in the 1986, 1990 and 1994 World Cup which also consisted of 24 teams.
David Guetta Will Produce Official Euro 2016 Song
Not only will French DJ David Guetta produce the song, he will also write it! It is not clear yet when exactly the song will be released
2 Countries Can Win the Euro a Record of 4 Times
In Euro 2012, Spain became the very first country to win the tournament 2 consecutive times, they also won the tournament in 2008 and in 1964. Germany won the tournament in 1996, 1972 and 1980. So if Spain or Germany wins Euro 2016 in France, then they will have a record win of 4 times!
The Champions Will Play the 2017 Confederations Cup
As is the case with many continental tournaments, the champions of Euro 2016 will immediately qualify for the 2017 Confederations hosted in Russia. If Russia or Germany win, it will be the runner-up that will qualify for the 2017 Confederations Cup! The reason being that Germany and Russia already qualified for this tournament. If both Germany and Russia reach the Euro 2016 Final, the qualifier will be drawn from the losing semi-finalists.