Tuesday 16 January 2018

Euro 2012 diary


EURO 2012 ended for Poland last night, and the overall verdict is that the tournament has proved a success.

Indeed, with the logistical problems in Ukraine, there is a school of thought emerging which suggests that the Poles could have hosted the competition on their own.

Thirteen of the competing teams found suitable facilities to stay there during the tournament and major cities like Krakow didn't get the opportunity to host a game.

However, while the Poles have fared better than the Ukrainians in every respect, the number of overall foreign visitors has failed to meet expectations. 394,000 fans from around the continent had descended on Polish soil by the end of the group stages, with Ireland providing a large number.

The German influx last night swelled the figures, but the final total of tourists will not exceed 500,000.

Poland's minister of sport had initially estimated that one million fans would descend on their part of the world. Clearly, the global economic crisis has played its part.

If you think penalty shoot-outs are unfair...

TO some, penalties may be a fairly unsatisfactory way to resolve a semi-final, but it still pales in comparison to the previous solution that was employed in the European Championship.

UEFA pointed that out on their own website yesterday, recalling the crucial moment in the 1968 tournament -- a coin toss between the captains of Italy and Russia after 120 minutes of action failed to produce a winner in their semi-final clash in Naples.

It went the way of the home team, who felt they had earned it after playing the majority of the match with 10 men. At the time, there was no provision for substitutes in the case of injury.

The coin toss took place in the referee's dressing-room, and the Italian skipper Giacinto Facchetti correctly called tails and raced upstairs to deliver the good news.

Italy went on to beat Yugoslavia in the final.


"Our team was handpicked by God" --

A confident quote from a German fan who was holding court in a Warsaw cafe on Wednesday evening. He added that the Spanish were lazy and the Irish were alcoholics. Charming fella.


20 Shots off target during the competition by Cristiano Ronaldo. He is miles ahead of the pack, but, given his propensity to take a pop from anywhere, the decision to nominate him as Portugaal's fifth player in the semi-final shoot-out against Spain remains a mystery -- whether it was him or the manager who made the call which resulted in the real Madrid ace not getting the chance to score.

daniel mcdonnell

Irish Independent

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