The final tournament features 16 nations, the last European Championship to do so (from Euro 2016 onward, there will be 24 finalists). Qualification was contested by 51 nations between August 2010 and November 2011 to join the two host nations in the tournament. The winner of the tournament gains automatic entry to the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup hosted by Brazil.
The tournament is played across eight venues, four in each host country, five of which were newly built for the tournament. Aside from venues, the host nations have also invested heavily in improving infrastructure, such as railways and roads, at UEFA's request.
Neither Poland or Ukraine, the two host countries, made it through the group stage. Thus Euro 2012 becomes the second European Championship so far (after UEFA Euro 2008 held in Austria and Switzerland) to have none of the hosts emerge from the first round, as well as the third big football tournament in a row to do so (after UEFA Euro 2008 and 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa).
The hosting of the event was initially contested by five bids representing seven countries: Croatia–Hungary, Greece, Italy, Poland–Ukraine, and Turkey. In 2005 these were narrowed down by UEFA to three candidates: Croatia–Hungary, Poland–Ukraine and Italy. This was followed by a second round of the selection process which among other included visits by UEFA to candidate countries.After that the Poland–Ukraine bid was chosen by a vote of the UEFA Executive Committee at a meeting in Cardiff on 18 April 2007. Poland–Ukraine became the third successful joint bid for the European Championship, after those of Belgium–Netherlands (2000) and Austria–Switzerland (2008). Their bid received an absolute majority of votes, and was therefore announced the winner without requiring a second round. Italy, which received the remaining votes, had been considered favourites to win the hosting but incidents of fan violence and a match fixing scandal were widely cited as factors behind their failure.
Afterwards, there were some changes in the Poland-Ukraine bid regarding the venues. The final approval was made on a UEFA meeting on 13 May 2009. During the preparation process in Poland and Ukraine UEFA expressed concern about their ability to host the event and different candidates were suggested to take over if they did not improve; however in the end UEFA withdrew the criticism.
Eight cities were selected by UEFA as host venues. In a return to the format used at Euro 1992, Euro 1996 and Euro 2008, each of the four groups is based around two stadiums. The host cities Warsaw, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Poznań, Kiev, Lviv are all popular tourist destinations, unlike Donetsk and Kharkiv (the latter having replaced Dnipropetrovsk as a host city in 2009).
The requirement for football infrastructure improvements has been met through the building of new stadiums: five of the eight venues are brand new stadiums having completed construction and was ready to open in advance of the tournament; the remaining three (in Kiev, Poznań and Kharkiv) underwent major renovations to improve them.Three of the stadiums meet the criteria as UEFA's highest category stadiums. The transport system in Poland and Ukraine was also extensively modified on the request of UEFA to cope with the large influx of football fans.
1.4 million tickets have been sold for the games, and over 20,000 people are forecast to cross the Poland–Ukraine border each day during the tournament. Over 12 million have applied for tickets, which represented a 17% increase on the 2008 finals, and an all-time record for the UEFA European Championship.
UEFA have organised fan zones in the eight host cities. They are located in the centre of each city, with all 31 matches shown live on a total of 24 giant screens. The zones will enable supporters to come together in a secure and controlled environment. The Warsaw Fan Zone will occupy 120,000 square metres and accommodate 100,000 visitors. In all, their capacity have increased 20% compared to the UEFA EURO 2008.
The tournament is broadcast live by around 100 TV channels covering the whole world. 150,000,000 people are expected to watch the matches every day.
A total of 31 matches will be played during Euro 2012, with Ukraine hosting 16 of them and Poland 15.
Each team has a "Team Base Camp" for their stay between the matches. From an initial list of 38 potential locations (21 in Poland, 17 in Ukraine), the national associations chose their locations in 2011. These bases were the initial destination for all teams upon their arrival. The teams will then both train and reside in these locations throughout the tournament, traveling to games staged away from their bases. Thirteen teams are staying in Poland and three in Ukraine.
he draw for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying competition took place in Warsaw on 7 February 2010. Fifty-one teams entered to compete for the fourteen remaining places in the finals, alongside co-hosts Poland and Ukraine. The teams were divided into nine groups, with the draw using the new UEFA national team coefficient for the first time in order to determine the seedings. As defending champions, Spain was automatically top seeded. The qualifying process began in August 2010 and concluded in November 2011. At the conclusion of the qualifying group stage in October 2011, the nine group winners qualified automatically, along with the highest ranked second placed team. The remaining eight second placed teams contested two-legged play-offs, and the four winners qualified for the finals.
Twelve of the sixteen finalists participated at the previous tournament in 2008. England and Denmark made their return to the Euro, having last participated in 2004, while Republic of Ireland returned after a twenty-four year absence to make their second appearance at a European Championship. One of the co-hosts, Ukraine, made their debut as an independent nation (before 1992 Ukraine participated as part of the Soviet Union). The sixteen finalists were:
Final drawFurther information: UEFA Euro 2012 seeding
The draw for the final tournament took place on 2 December 2011 at the Ukraine Palace of Arts in Kiev, Ukraine. The hour-long ceremony was hosted by Olga Freimut and Piotr Sobczyński, television presenters from the two host countries. As was the case for the 2004 and 2008 finals, the sixteen finalists were divided into four seeding pots, using the UEFA national team coefficient ranking. Three teams were automatically placed in pot 1: Poland and Ukraine as hosts and Spain as defending champion. They were joined by Netherlands, the country of the rest with the highest coefficient.
In the draw procedure, each of the four groups had one team drawn from each pot. It also determined which place in the group teams drawn from Pots 2–4 would take (i.e. A2, A3 or A4) to create the match schedule. For logistical reasons, Poland were assigned in advance to A1, and Ukraine to D1. The balls were drawn by four former players who have each been part of European Championship winning teams: Horst Hrubesch, Marco van Basten, Peter Schmeichel and Zinedine Zidane.
UEFA Euro 2012 official logos.svg
The competition slogan, Creating History Together (Polish: Razem tworzymy przyszłość, literally, "Together we are creating the future", Ukrainian: Творимо історію разом, Tvorymo istoriyu razom), was announced along with the logo The official logo for the tournament was unveiled at a special event at Mykhailivska Square, Kiev, on 14 December 2009. Designed by Portuguese group Brandia Central. It takes its visual identity from Wycinanki or Vytynanky, traditional form of paper cutting practised in rural areas of Poland and Ukraine. The art form symbolises the nature of the rural areas of both countries. As part of the event, landmark buildings in the eight host cities were illuminated with the tournament logo.
The official Euro 2012 song is "Endless Summer" by the German singer Oceana. In addition, UEFA has retained the melody that was composed by Rollo Armstrong of Faithless on its behalf for the 2008 tournament. The Republic of Ireland has also produced an official song: "The Rocky Road to Poland" recorded by a collaboration of Irish performers has already reached number 1 in Ireland. In Spain, the broadcasting company Mediaset España commissioned the song "No hay 2 sin 3", performed by David Bisbal and Cali & El Dandee and produced by RedOne.
When the teams walk out from the stadium and before the national anthems are played, "Heart of Courage" by Two Steps From Hell is played. The tournament has also been associated with the song "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes, which has been played in the stadiums after every goal.
Trophy on display during its tour
The Henri Delaunay Trophy began a journey through the host cities seven weeks before the start of the tournament. A hundred days before the first match a 35.5-metre-high (116 ft) hot air balloon in the shape of the trophy was flown in Nyon, Switzerland and will visit 14 cities throughout the host countries, reminding spectators of the impending tournament. On 20 April 2012 the trophy tour started and visited Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdańsk, Poznań, Kraków, Katowice and Łódź cities. After the Polish cities, the trophy visited seven Ukrainian cities: Kiev, Ivano-Frankivsk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Lviv, Odesa.
Merchandise and mascots
Slavek & Slavko
UEFA signed a worldwide licensing agreement with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to help promote the tournament.The agreement involved licensing to third parties for: accessories, apparel, automotive accessories, baby personal care and accessories, bags, computer accessories, drinking vessels, footwear, general souvenirs, home textiles, houseware products and accessories, jewellery, publications, sports accessories, stationery and writing instruments, and toys and games.
Also designed by Warner Bros. are Slavek and Slavko, the official mascots of the UEFA Euro 2012. They are twins and represent Polish and Ukrainian footballers in national colours. The mascots were announced in December 2010. They are similar to the Trix and Flix from Euro 2008. As in 2008 the names Slavek and Slavko were also chosen in the web voting, over "Siemko and Strimko" and "Klemek and Ladko".
Official match ball of Euro 2012
The Adidas Tango 12 is the official match ball of UEFA Euro 2012. The ball is named after the original and successful Adidas Tango family of footballs; however, the Tango 12 and its variations have a completely new design. Variations of the ball have been used in other contemporary competitions including the Africa Cup of Nations and the Summer Olympics. It is designed to be easier to dribble and control than the reportedly unpredictable Adidas Jabulani used at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.