All you need to know about Euro 2016

UEFA Euro 2016, France
UEFA Euro 2016, France

Football’s summer party is here, yes, it’s the 15th edition of Euro Cup, the European championship, a month long action-packed football competition, this time among 24-Football playing nations across Europe.

What Euro 2016 surely has is more storylines than ever before. From title contenders in transitional phases to goalkeepers wearing sweatpants to the pair of brothers that will be playing against each other, here’s what you need to know about UEFA Euro 2016:

24 Teams

For the first time, the European Championship will have 24 teams competing, which is an expansion from the 16-team format being used since 1996.

The finalists will be competing at a group stage consisting of six groups of four teams each, followed by a knockout stage including three rounds and the final. This format generates a total of 51 games, compared with 31 games for the previous 16-team tournament.

Here are 24 teams in six-groups:

Group A: Albania, France, Romania, Switzerland
Group B: England, Russia, Slovakia, Wales
Group C: Germany, Northern Ireland, Poland, Ukraine
Group D: Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain,Turkey
Group E: Belgium, Italy, Republic of Ireland, Sweden
Group F: Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Portugal

Venue

The 15th edition of the tournament will be in the land of love, romance and football, France.

France was chosen as the host nation on 28 May 2010, after a bidding process in which they beat Italy and Turkey for the right to host the 2016 finals.

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The matches will be held in the ten exotic French cities, Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Étienne, and Toulouse. So you can plan a French holiday and watch a match.

First timers

Five teams secured their first-ever qualification to a UEFA European Championship: Albania, Iceland, Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Wales.

Northern Ireland, Slovakia and Wales had each previously competed in the FIFA World Cup, while Albania and Iceland had never participated in a major tournament in their history.

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Referees

A team of 18 referees has been selected for the tournament. This includes elite, well known referees like, Viktor Kassai, Martin Artkinson, Felix Brynch, etc.

The Logo

The official logo of UEFA Euro 2016 was unveiled on 26 June 2013, during a ceremony at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines in Paris.

The design is based on the theme “Celebrating the art of football”. The logo depicts the Henri Delaunay trophy with 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.

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On 17 October 2013, UEFA announced the official slogan of the tournament: Le Rendez-Vous. It is a kind of a sending out of an invitation to football fans and lovers throughout the world.

The competition’s official opening song is ‘This One’s For You’ by David Guetta featuring Zara Larsson, and the official closing song is “Free Your Mind” by Maya Lavelle.

The official mascot of the tournament, Super Victor, was unveiled on 18 November 2014. He is a child superhero with a red cape at the back, to echo the colours of the Flag of France. The cape, boots and ball are claimed to be the child’s superpowers. It is based on the idea of victory and references the boy’s super powers that he gained when he found the magic cape, boots and ball.

The name of the mascot is the same as the name of a sex toy. UEFA said that this coincidence was not their responsibility because the name was selected by fan voting. For now, forget the controversies and enjoy the carnival of football.

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