Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

December 7, 2007

Blokhin quits as Ukraine coach

Filed under: EURO 2008,Ukraine — Ivan @ 3:00 am

By Mikhail Volobuyev

KIEV, Dec 7 (Reuters) – Oleg Blokhin quit as Ukraine coach on Thursday after his team failed to qualify for Euro 2008.

“This was a hard decision, it wasn’t easy,” the former Soviet striker told the Ukrainian FA’s executive board meeting.

“After four years with the team, I am resigning because I think, I have nothing more to give to the national team.

“I’m not putting the blame for the team’s failure on anyone but myself,” he added.

Blokhin, 55, European Player of the Year in 1975 after leading Dynamo Kiev to their first European Cup Winners’ Cup success, was appointed Ukraine coach in September 2003.

He guided the national team to their first major finals at the 2006 World Cup in Germany where they reached the quarter-finals.

Euro 2012 co-hosts Ukraine failed to reach next year’s European championship finals from one of the strongest qualifying groups, finishing fourth behind world champions Italy, World Cup finalists France and Scotland.

Media reports said Blokhin, whose contract expires at the end of the year, was seeking a four-year extension so he could coach the team on home soil at the 2012 finals, but Ukrainian FA chief Hrigory Surkis would only offer a two-year deal.

Blokhin wanted more security with Ukraine also facing an uphill battle to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals after being drawn in a tough group with Croatia and England.

Blokhin, who also coached Greek club Olympiakos in the early 1990s, said he was taking a rest for now and dismissed media speculation he might join either FK Moscow or Dynamo Kiev.

“There are no talks with any club at the moment,” he said.

Surkis said the federation will meet next month to plan for next year and hopes to have made a choice by then. “There are no candidates right now, we are looking around,” he said. (Writing by Gennady Fyodorov; editing by Ken Ferris)

Source:uk.reuters.com

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December 3, 2007

Tensions rise in Lucerne ahead of Euro 2008 draw

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 2:23 am

LUCERNE, Switzerland – The draw for the Euro 2008 finals takes place here on Sunday following a night of disturbances with Swiss riot police using rubber bullets to disperse left wing demonstrators.

Over 120 people were arrested in the streets around Lucerne’s Culture and Convention Centre from where at 1100GMT the nervy business of picking the four groups of four teams takes place.

The official motto for Euro 2008 is ‘Expect Emotions’ and there should be plenty of that around with the current seeding system raising the possibility of the mother of all groups of death emerging.With co-hosts Switzerland and Austria and defending champions Greece handed top seed status a group comprising world champions Italy, two time Euro champions France, and European superpower Germany is not beyond the bounds of possibility.With England conspicuous by their absence the only overt sign of anything English here this weekend is Mr Pickwicks Pub situated on the Lucerne waterfront.Slaven Bilic, who as manager of Croatia masterminded the coup de grace that brought a premature end to his England counterpart Steve McClaren’s reign at Wembley in the final qualifier at Wembley, was in confident mood ahead of Sunday’s draw.‘I am not big headed on this one, but I think every manager who watched us and knows about us would not like to play us,’ he said.‘Maybe I am wrong, but I don’t really care. There’s 16 teams in this and you can’t have an easy group. It’s all about the level of difficulty.‘The 14 teams that qualified did it the tough way and on merit. That gives them every hope and reason to beat every team. I am going to see tomorrow how it goes.’ While Croatia are three-time finalists this is new territory for a couple of Euro debutants in Poland, who qualified as winners of their group, and Austria, who along with fellow hosts Switzerland qualified automatically.Greece, who made a mockery of their billing as minnows by claiming the title in 2004, ensured they’d be around to defend their crown by winning 10 of their 12 qualifying games to top their group ahead of Turkey.The other dozen teams have been segregated according to their results in qualifying for not only Euro 2008 but also the 2006 World Cup.Given the curious system that has produced top seeds of a footballling minnow like Austria, UEFA are keen to overhaul the seeding process for Euro 2012.UEFA general secretary David Taylor said: ‘We want a fair seeding system. For 2012 it could well be completely different.‘The (UEFA) president (Michel) Platini and me inherited a system already in place for 2008.’Euro 2008 kicks off on June 7 with matches staged in eight cities – Basle, Zurich, Berne and Geneva, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, and the 50,000 seater Ernst-Happel stadium in Vienna, host of the final on June 29.

Over one million tickets will be distributed for the three-week tournament with organisers reporting this week the cancellation of 20,000 orders believed to be destined for the black market.

Source:khaleejtimes.com

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December 1, 2007

One week after 2010 World Cup draw, Euro 2008 teams discover their fate

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 10:57 pm

LUCERNE, Switzerland – One week after the 2010 World Cup qualifying draw, 16 teams will discover their path Sunday to win the 2008 European Championship and collect up to US$33.6-million in prize money.

The prize money had been increased by more than 50 per cent since Euro 2004. If the eventual champion wins all its games, it will take home $33.6 million. UEFA has $269 million set aside with teams earning more prize money the further they progress.

The 14 qualified teams join co-hosts Austria and Switzerland in the draw for the June 7-29 event, hoping to avoid the powerhouses and the teams which could create security problems for organizers.

Because of the way UEFA has split the 16 teams into four pots in the draw, there’s a chance that four former champions – Netherlands, Italy, Germany and France – could all be playing each other.

Despite poor current form, including a 2-1 recent loss to Belarus, the Netherlands has been rated the top team of the 14 qualifiers because the criteria was also based on advancing to the 2006 World Cup.

That means the Dutch are grouped with defending champion Greece and the two co-hosts in the pot of top-seeded teams. On current form, only Greece probably deserves to be there. UEFA may consider changing this format for the 2012 European Championship being co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine.

“The regulations for the 2012 championships have not yet been drawn up,” UEFA general secretary David Taylor said Saturday. “The seeding system will be reviewed as a matter of course. It’s a little early to say, but we do want to have a fair balance in the seeding system.

“What we have in terms of the regulations in this particular championship in 2008, the president (Michel Platini) and myself inherited. Euro 2012 is a different matter and we will look at that in the coming years.”

In the second rank of seedings is Croatia, Czech Republic, World Cup holder Italy and Sweden. The third has Germany, Portugal, Romania and Spain. The fourth has France, Poland, Russia and Turkey.

While it seems nonsensical that World Cup runner-up France, which won this competition seven years ago, should be among the weakest group of seeds, that’s the way UEFA’s coefficient of seedings works.

It means that Raymond Domenech’s talented but unpredictable team, which lost twice to Scotland in qualifying, could face at least two of the traditional European powerhouses – Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic and Netherlands – in the group phase of next year’s championship.

“It’s laughable if the world champions don’t get the final top seeding,” Domenech said. “Who does deserve to be top if not Italy? We were finalists in the World Cup, we qualified for this with points to spare, and there are practically 12 teams ahead of us. I do not understand how.”

Because of the way the teams are split, Greece could wind up facing the three teams it upset to win the title in 2004, when it beat host Portugal twice, France and the Czech Republic.

While the draw is expected to set up some highly charged confrontations on the field, it could also create some problems off it.

If it puts the Netherlands, Germany, Croatia and either Poland or Russia together, that group could be a security nightmare for the organizers. Netherlands-Germany and Germany-Poland matches have frequently led to pre-organized violence, while there are increasing signs that the travelling fans of Croatia and Russia have groups of racist followers who have fought with police.

Organizers don’t have to worry about 40,000 English fans. England failed to qualify, finishing third in its group behind Croatia and Russia, which might inherit tickets that would have gone to English fans.

Taylor said UEFA had a system that would prevent those tickets winding up on the black market.

“We have quote a sophisticated process with regard with the allocation of tickets,” he said. “We cancelled a whole number, thousands, that were to be purchased through agencies that had been screened out.”

Source:canadianpress.google.com

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February 18, 2007

Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 6:44 am

The News Review:

* NORTHERN IRELAND v SPAIN MIN-BY-MIN
* BELGIANS CUT SORRY FIGURES IN DEFEAT
* RUSSIANS CLIMB ABOVE ENGLAND
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* KAHN LIKES GERMANY UNDER LOW
* HANKE TO MISS EURO QUALIFIERS
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* McCLAREN TO HOLD CRISIS TALKS
* CANNAVARO FOCUSING ON LITHUANIA : Sporting Life – Football | Italy…
* DOWNING ‘CAN BE NEW GIGGS’
* STAUNTON TRIBUTE TO STRIKE PAIR
* NOLAN LOOKING FOR ENGLAND JOB
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* SANCHEZ FULL OF RESPECT FOR WALES
* NO GOING BACK FOR TOSHACK
* STAUNTON DEMANDS ‘CLINICAL’ APPROACH
* JOL REVEALS LENNON INJURY
* WE HAD CASH FOR HARGREAVES – FERGIE

(more…)

February 16, 2007

NOVEMBER 2006 – A MONTH IN REVIEW: Sporting Life | Football Scores,…

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 8:36 am

The News Review:

* LEHMANN PLANS TO QUIT AFTER EURO 2008
* CELTIC WIN SCOTLAND BID
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* NOVEMBER 2006 – A MONTH IN REVIEW: Sporting Life | Football Scores,…
* Celtic cleared to play in San Siro
* FOSTER & WOODGATE START FOR ENGLAND
* OLD FIRM HAVE WHAT IT TAKES IN EUROPE: Sporting Life | Football…
* McLEISH CAN MAKE THE RIGHT IMPACT: Sporting Life | Football Scores,…
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* CECH BACK FOR CZECHS
* McCLAREN NEEDS TIME – GIBSON
* TOSHACK SEES BELLAMY FAITH JUSTIFIED
* GERMANY GOING FOR GOALS IN SAN MARINO
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* KENNY TAKES TIME OUT
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* Friday’s gossip column
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Man Utd v…
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Football Scores,…

(more…)

February 15, 2007

Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Football Scores,…

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 12:26 pm

The News Review:

* uefa.com – UEFA EURO 2008™
* McClaren wants friendlies rethink
* SANCHEZ HAPPY TO STAY ON
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Football Scores,…
* SCOLARI TO STEP DOWN IN 2008
* GORDON: WE CAN STILL REACH EURO FINALS
* McClaren pines for Hargreaves
* Bari fit to stage Scotland match
* Lets Lose The Turin Crowd (from Sunday Herald)
* Rangers reveal cost of Celtic’s renaissance
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Football Scores,…
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Football Scores,…
* McCLAREN SUMMONS UP BULLDOG SPIRIT
* WALES SQUAD ARRIVE AFTER SCARE
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Football Scores,…
* Sporting Life – Football | FA Cup Fifth Round Live, Football Scores,…

(more…)

February 14, 2007

Nhan Dan — Trang tin bài

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 4:14 am

The News Review:

* Send Owen your questions using this form and read his answers to a…
* HAREWOOD – I IGNORE THE BIGOTS
* Football – Yorkshire Post Today: News, Sport, Jobs, Property, Cars, …
* Nhan Dan — Trang tin bài
* Israel striker boycotts national team in hopes of getting citizenship
* STACK HOPING FOR LEEDS NOD
* CELTIC KEPT WAITING BY ITALIANS
* ROBSON – I KNEW I WOULD RECOVER
* Kirkland out for six weeks
* GOW GETS ‘B’ CALL-UP
* McCLAREN MADE BECKS MISTAKE: WOODY
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* KEANE STUNNED BY DOYLE PROGRESS
* ENGLAND GET BARCELONA GO-AHEAD
* Goal.com – New Serie A Sensation Wants Milan

(more…)

February 13, 2007

Managers rally round McClaren

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 4:54 am

The News Review:

* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* HOOPS’ SAN SIRO CHANCES IMPROVE
* VENABLES BACKS McCLAREN
* Managers rally round McClaren
* Tuesday’s gossip column
* Arsenal move for Carson
* ROEDER MARVELS AT MAGIC RONALDO
* McMANUS IN SCOTLAND SQUAD
* ASHTON’S GONE TIL NOVEMBER
* ENGLAND v ANDORRA MIN-BY MIN
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* KEANE TREBLE PUTS REPUBLIC ON TRACK
* Slovakia taking Malta match seriously

(more…)

February 12, 2007

N Ireland face home game dilemma

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 12:24 pm

The News Review:

* THURAM COULD KEEP GOING FOR LES BLEUS
* England return still unlikely for Beckham despite comeback goal for…
* McClaren – under fire. UNDER-FIRE McCLAREN GETS BACKING
* N Ireland face home game dilemma
* SCOTS AWAIT BARI FINAL VERDICT
* The Sunday Herald – Scotland’s award-winning independent newspaper
* BENCH DUTY FOR HUNGARIAN PAIR | Southampton v Barnsley : Barnsley…
* McSHANE DESERVES HIS CHANCE – STAN
* Maybe England can be beaten
* PAGE ENDS WALES CAREER
* PATIENCE THE KEY WORD FOR COLLINS
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* HARGREAVES GETS FANS’ VOTE
* TORRES RETURNS FOR SPAIN
* MORE TO MONDAY THAN McLEISH
* Sporting Life – Football | Bolton v Arsenal Live, Football Scores,…
* National team coach Rehhagel to stay on for 2 years

(more…)

February 11, 2007

SFA REJECTED SMITH’S JOB-SHARE OFFER

Filed under: EURO 2008 — Ivan @ 6:57 am

The News Review:

* Players’ Development Crucial to German Success, Says Lehmann
* McClaren defiant after criticism
* LOW REPLACES GERMAN HERO KLINSMANN
* SFA REJECTED SMITH’S JOB-SHARE OFFER
* SUPER SCOTS SLAM SLOVENIA
* Croke Park hosts historic rugby clash
* The Sunday Herald – Sport
* STAN YEARNING FOR LADY LUCK
* TOSHACK BANKING ON GIGGS FOR CROKE SHOWDOWN
* Gordon absence bears Romanov prints
* ZIZOU SEES SIMILARITIES WITH 98
* American dream is the real deal for Gerrard
* ROBSON: ENGLAND SQUAD LACKS DEPTH
* RIO TOE MAY NOT BE BROKEN | Man Utd v Reading : Man Utd News,…
* Sunday’s gossip column
* PAIR URGED TO STAY AT EASTER ROAD
* Wenger blames FA as talent goes for a Burton
* EARNSHAW DELIGHTED FOR BLUEBIRDS
* PLAYERS WANT KERR SITUATION SORTED

(more…)

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