EURO 2012 kick-offs are soon

EURO 2012 is due to start on June 8, hosted by Ukraine and co-hosted by Poland.

Schurrle and Ozil in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match against Germany (2011-06-03). Photo taken by Steindy.

It’s going to be a fine summer of soccer thanks to the 14th Euro Championships this year, 2012. New boss Roy Hodgson will be leading England for the first time, and Republic of Ireland is also in for the crack after 24 years of absence from the tournament. Here’s some stuff you need to know about the tournament:

When does it start? When does it end?

The opening ceremony at the National Stadium in Warsaw gets underway on Friday, June 8. Kick-off for the first game between 2004 EURO champion Greece and co-host Poland will be at 5:00pm GMT (23:00 Vietnam time). The final game will be held on Sunday, July 1 in Kiev.

And who’s playing this year?

16 teams qualified for the finals are listed in their respective groups as below:

 Group A  Group B  Group C  Group D
 Poland  Holland  Spain  Ukraine
 Greece  Denmark  Italy  Sweden
 Russia  Germany  Rep of Ireland  France
 Czech Republic  Portugal  Croatia  England

See a detailed schedule of games here.

Just in case, but how does the tournament work again?

Teams are arranged in groups of four (see above). Each team within the group plays each other once, with the top two moving onto the knockout stages. The winner of group A will then play the runner-up of group B, and vice versa. Same goes for Groups C and D.

The winners of these four games will then go through semi-finals, and the two winners of the semi-finals will go head-to-head for finals.

The entire tournament is shaping up to be very exciting. All games are covered on VTV2, VTV3 on Vietnamese television. You can even watch online from a stream on Oleoletv. That’s a lot to choose from, so chances are, you won’t miss a kick if you don’t want to.

We interviewed some students at UNIS to ask about their opinion on the teams’ chances in this upcoming tournament.

Raul Restelli (Grade 7, from Italy) – Having won the 2010 World Cup and the 2008 Euro Championship, I think Spain will win the UEFA Euro Championship 2012 in Poland and Ukraine.

Awua Buahin (Grade 8, from the United States) – I don’t watch soccer, but  I think Portugal will win, and my friends say Portugal would do good and I trust their judgements.

Angelique Somers (Grade 9, from the Netherlands) – I’m rooting for my home country, Netherlands and if they play as well as they did in the world cup 3 years ago, I believe the Netherlands and Spain will meet in the finals again.

Abigail Vallely (Grade 10, from England) – It’s a bit sad that Lampard won’t be able to play in the tournament this year but I hope England won’t be doing too bad and hope for the best.

Loc Dinh (Grade 10, from Vietnam) – I support England because I am a fan of Manchester United Football Club. I think they will win because they have many high potential players, and they have a great coach as well so maybe they will win the championship this year.

Maxwell Ryder (Grade 12, from the United States) – I’m not exactly an avid soccer fan—I think Germany will win but I’ll definitely be rooting for Spain.

Who do you think will win this year’s UEFA Euro Championship?