Important Facts about UEFA European Championship
(Last Updated On: July 16, 2014)
These are some of the most important facts about UEFA European Championship.
- The UEFA European Championship is played in two parts. First part is the qualifying round in which all the teams except the host nation play to qualify for the tournament and the second part in which teams play in the actual tournament which is organized every four years in different European nations.
- This tournament was the brainchild of the former UEFA President, Henri Delaunay and the first tournament was held in 1960 in which only four teams participated. All these four teams were qualified from a knockout tournament played two years before the tournament.
- The first tournament was almost cancelled because the lack of support and many countries were too late to apply for the participation.
- The current name ‘UEFA European Championship’ was adopted in the year 1968. This year, even knock out tournament was replaced by the current qualifying round.
- There have been ten different winners till now of the UEFA European Championship. Germany and Spain have won it thrice. Germany has won the championship as West Germany in 1972 and in 1980 and as Germany in 1996. Spain is the only country which has won the tournament twice in a row.
- The tournament was expanded from 4 to 8 to 16 and now to 24 teams will participate in Euro 2016 to be played in France.
- Denmark was failed to qualify for the 1992 edition, but then there was a civil war broke out in Yugoslavia hence Denmark replaced them as a special invitee in the final tournament and the story doesn’t stop here, Denmark actually went on to win the Championship!
- There are total 46 countries who take part in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA European Championship, which starts, at least 2 years before the actual tournament.
- A qualifying game between England and Scotland in the 1968 competition witnessed the highest number of attendance in the history of the tournament. The match was held at Hampden Park and total 130, 711 spectators watched that game.
- International politics too played a part in this tournament, as in 1960 the right-wing Spanish government forced the team to withdraw as it did not want their team to play against the communist USSR (Russia).
- The result of the semifinal between Italy and USSR of the 1968 Championship was decided by the toss of the coin. Italy guessed it right and proceeded to the finals.
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