UEFA EURO 2012 Soccer Betting - Poland-Ukraine
The final tournament of the 14th UEFA European Football Championship will be held in Poland and Ukraine from 8 June to 1 July 2012. It will be the third time that the final tournament is jointly hosted by two countries (after Belgium/Netherlands in 2000 and Austria/Switzerland in 2008).
Sixteen national teams will compete in a total of 31 matches to be crowned European champions. The format of four groups of four teams will be used for the last time in this tournament. The competition format will change for the next edition in 2016 as the lineup of participants competing in the final tournament will be increased to 24.
The UEFA EURO 2012 matches will be played in eight stadiums, four in Poland – Gdansk, Poznan, Warsaw, Wroclaw – and four in Ukraine – Donetsk, Lviv, Kharkiv and Kyiv. The opening match will take place in Warsaw on 8 June and the final on 1 July in Kyiv. No fewer than 1.4 million fans will be expected at the stadiums and the matches will be broadcast live in more than 200 territories around the world.
Contested every four years, the UEFA European Championship has been showcasing the continent's top talent since its inception as the UEFA European Nations Cup in 1960. It consists of a qualifying competition, play-offs and a final tournament.
The qualifying round is made up of nine groups of five or six teams, who contest home and away fixtures. The section winners and runners-up with the best record against the top five in their group progress automatically. The remaining eight second-placed sides contest two-legged play-offs, with the victors joining the hosts to complete the lineup for the final tournament.
UEFA EURO 2012 will be the last 16-team finals before the tournament expands to 24 teams in 2016. The qualifiers are drawn into four groups, with the top two advancing to the quarter-finals when it becomes a knockout competition, with extra time and penalty shoot-outs used to decide the winner if necessary.
The Henri Delaunay Cup
Spain's Iker Casillas had the pleasure of becoming the first captain to lift the updated version of the Henri Delaunay Cup in June 2008, with the new trophy a fitting replacement for the prize that has been synonymous with the UEFA European Championship.
The second version of the trophy is based on the original designed by Arthus-Bertrand in 1960 and named after Henri Delaunay, the former president of the French Football Federation and UEFA's first general secretary, from the body's founding on 15 June 1954 to 9 November 1955.
It is 18cm higher and 2kg heavier than the original, made of sterling silver, and has retained its historical name. The trophy was reincarnated to reflect the scale and size of Europe's most prestigious international tournament.
The responsibility for creating the original went to Pierre Delaunay, son of Henri, the visionary behind the competition. Henri Delaunay died in 1955 before seeing his idea come to fruition, but the updated prize is testament to his enduring legacy, maintaining its classic style.
2012 UEFA Euro Cup Groups
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