UEFA Euro 2008 European Football Championship
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Euro 2008 Products at Amazon.co.uk
Euro 2008 Products at Amazon.com
The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 2008, will take place in Austria and Switzerland from 7 June to 29 June 2008. It is the second successful joint bid in the competition's history, following the UEFA Euro 2000 hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. The 2012 competition in Poland and Ukraine is scheduled to become the third jointly-hosted tournament.
A total of 16 teams will participate in the tournament. Austria and Switzerland automatically qualified as hosts; the remaining 14 teams have been determined through qualifying matches which started in August 2006. Austria and Poland will be making their first appearance in the tournament. The winner of Euro 2008 will represent UEFA at the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, unless Italy wins the tournament, in which case the runner-up will be entered, as Italy is already entered as the winner of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
The two countries jointly bid to host the games, and faced major competition from Greece/Turkey, Scotland/Ireland, Russia, Hungary, Croatia/Bosnia-Herzegovina and a 4-way Nordic bid from Norway/Sweden/Denmark/Finland. Austria had already bid with another country before, which was Hungary for Euro 2004. They had eventually lost to Portugal.
Austria/Switzerland, Greece/Turkey, and Hungary were recommended before the final vote. Greece and Turkey were rejected and let Hungary and Austria/Switzerland battle for the win.
Back side of a ticket for a match in Vienna
Switzerland will play all of its group-stage matches at Basel, and Austria will play all of its group-stage matches at Vienna.
In 2004, the Zürich venue became a problem for the organisers. Originally, the Hardturm stadium was to be renovated and used as the city's venue, but legal challenges delayed the plan to a point that would not have allowed the ground to be used in 2008. This created a problem, as the agreement between UEFA and the organizers stipulated that four venues would be used in each country. The problem was solved when the organizers proposed renovating Letzigrund instead; UEFA approved the revised plan in January 2005. The Letzigrund stadium hosted its first football match on 23 September 2007.
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