Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
Favourites France have been chosen to host Euro 2016 after beating Italy and Turkey.
UEFA President Michel Platini, a proud Frenchman, whipped round the card in Geneva to reveal France’s name.
They will host a major soccer championship for the first time since holding the 1998 World Cup.
Italy, who missed out on Euro 2012, will again wonder where it all went wrong amid problems with new stadiums and soccer violence.
“U” is an interesting letter in German. One of the first things that springs to mind is “U-Boot” (submarine) and then there is the “U-Bahn” (underground train) as well as “U-Haft” (jail).
But after Germany’s U21 team won the European championship, thrashing England 4-0 in Sweden on Monday to give the country all three “U” titles (U17, U19 and U21), there’s another “U” word that comes to mind: “Ueber alles” — as in “Deutschland Ueber Alles”.
As the dust settles on a turbulent few weeks for Polish soccer, a wider question is being asked in the game’s corridors of power. Did UEFA make a mistake in awarding Euro 2012 to Poland and Ukraine?
Despite both countries receiving explicit warnings from European soccer’s governing body, they are still well behind in their preparations, so much so that UEFA may have to rethink the number of stadia to be used.
Franz Beckenbauer’s announcement that the European Championship finals will feature 24 teams instead of 16 from 2016 must have been welcomed by fans of countries that have found it difficult to qualify for recent major tournaments.
But as my colleague Mike Collett argued during Euro 2008, UEFA is running a big risk by trying to fix something that is not broken.
I first saw a match in the European Nations Cup, as it then was, in 1968 when England beat Spain 1-0 in a qualifier at Wembley to reach the four-team finals in Italy.