This summer sees France host the 15th European Championships, which will take place at venues across the country from the 10th June to 10th July. Here’s everything you need to know to be fully prepared for the highlight of the European football calendar.
Which countries are participating?
There are 24 countries competing in Euro 2016, the most that have ever taken part in one tournament. Titans of European football such as Spain, England, Germany and of course France will be joined by debutants Iceland, Albania, Wales, Slovakia, and Northern Ireland, among others.
How’s it all decided?
There’ll be a total of 51 games before the winner is crowned. There are six groups (A-F), from which the two best teams from a round robin contest will proceed to the knockout stages. The four highest ranked third placed teams will also proceed. There are then three knockout rounds to navigate, before two teams contest the final, which takes place at the Stade de France in Paris on 10th July.
Where are the games played?
The group stages and knockout rounds will be played in venues all across France, including Paris, Marseille, Nice, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Lyon, and more. As these cities are spread around the north and south of France, you will need to travel across the country if you’re following your country’s games. Train travel is a popular and convenient way to get around France, as are domestic flights and car journeys.
What to expect?
Alongside the best football Europe has to offer, visitors should expect a lively, fun-loving atmosphere. There’ll be plenty of colour and noise made by the fans, creating a spectacle that only competitions such as the World Cup and Olympics can match.