Wednesday 21 March 2018

Everything you need to know as all roads lead eastwards for European game's biggest party

•The European Championships will be hosted by Poland and Ukraine between June 8 and July 1 next year.

•The games will be spread over four cities in Poland -- Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan, Wroclaw; and four cities in Ukraine -- Donetsk, Kiev, Kharkiv and Lviv.

•Six of the eight venues will boast brand new stadiums, while the remaining two (in Poznañ and Kharkiv) have undergone major renovations. Three of the new structures will fulfil the criteria of UEFA's highest category stadiums.

•Along with the two host nations, 10 teams have qualified for the finals. They are: Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Spain and Sweden.

•Tuesday night's second leg play-off games will decide the final four spots. Ireland, with a 4-0 advantage at home to Estonia, and Croatia, who entertain Turkey with a 3-0 lead, look to be through. The remaining two games are: Portugal (0) v Bosnia & Herzegovina (0) and Montenegro (0) v the Czech Republic (2).

•In this qualifying campaign, Ireland have played 11 games, winning seven, losing one and drawing three. They scored 19 goals and only conceded seven. They finished the group in second place on 21 points to earn their play-off spot.

•In the 2008 campaign under Steve Staunton, Ireland only won four out of 12 games, drawing five and losing three. The goal tally of 17 was blotted by the total of 14 conceded.

•A total of 10 different Irish players have scored in this campaign, plus there was also an own goal from Amenia's Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Robbie Keane is the top scorer with seven goals.

•For the first four matches of the Euro 2012 qualification campaign Giovanni Trapattoni used the same starting 11 and a total of just 16 different players, but overall 26 players were used in the 11 games. Aiden McGeady and Glen Whelan have been ever-present in this campaign.

•In the 2008 campaign Steve Staunton used 34 different players in 12 matches. Kevin Kilbane made the most appearances with 12, while Robbie Keane made 11.

•As was the case at the last two finals, the 16 teams will be divided into four seeding pots, ranked by their UEFA coefficient, with each of the four groups having one team from each pot. Pot 1 will include Poland and Ukraine, as co-hosts, Spain, as defending champions, and the team with next highest coefficient, currently Holland.

•The other teams can only be allocated pots after the conclusion of the qualifying process. Ireland are currently ranked 13th in Europe which will almost certainly see us in Pot 4.

•Tickets for Euro 2012 go on sale to competing nations after the tournament draw on December 2. The competing nations will receive 448,000 tickets; the remaining 322,000 will be distributed to sponsors, corporate hospitality and guests.

•Ticket prices vary from €30 (for a seat behind the goals at a group match) to €600 (for the main stand at the final). Opening match €45-€250, Group matches €30-€120, quarter-finals €40-€150, semi-finals €45-€270, final €50-€600.

•For this championship the cheapest tickets cost 50 per cent less than at UEFA Euro 2008 in Austria/Switzerland and there are also fewer corporate hospitality tickets, they are down from eight per cent of the total to four per cent.

•Aer Lingus fly from Dublin to Krakow and Warsaw, while Ryanair fly from Dublin to nine different Polish airports including three of the four host cities, Gdansk, Krakow and Wroclaw.

•A return flight from Dublin to Warsaw with Aer Lingus for the opening weekend, including taxes and charges, currently stands at €246. Ryanair don't fly to Warsaw but flights to Krakow on the same weekend are €239.20 including taxes and charges.

•In Poland hotels range from €35 for budget to €105 for luxury for a double room; caravan pitches are €12 per person and camping is available from around €6.

•Kiev return flights from the UK for the final start at €200 while hotels range from €25 for budget to €115 for luxury for a double. Camping is available from around €4 per person.

•It takes approximately 10 hours and 39 minutes to drive the 767.4 km from Warsaw where the opening game takes place, to Kiev where the final is being held. The Kiev Express runs from Warsaw to Kiev, it costs €84 one-way, €168 return in a four-berth sleeper.

•Euro 2012 will be the first major sporting event of any kind hosted by an East European country since the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

•This will be the last European Championship finals tournament to feature 16 nations; 24 will compete in France's Euro 2016.

•During the competition there will be a total ban on smoking in all stadiums. It will not be permitted to sell or promote tobacco in the stadiums and their surroundings.

•It will be the third tournament in the history of UEFA hosted by two countries after Euro 2000 (Belgium and Netherlands), and Euro 2008 (Austria and Switzerland).

•Kiev's Olympic Stadium, which hosted the football at the 1980 Moscow Olympics, will be the venue for the final, it has a capacity of 70,050.

•The competition slogan is Razem tworzymy przyszlosc in Polish, or Tvorymo istoriyu razom in Ukrainian. In English this translates as 'Creating History Together'.

•Neither of the host countries have ever won a match at a European Championship finals.

•Ukraine are ranked 58th in the FIFA world rankings and Poland are 64th. Ireland are way ahead of both in 25th spot.

•Poland has a population of over 38 million while the Ukraine's is almost 46 million.

Compiled by Marie Crowe

Sunday Indo Sport

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