Euro 2016

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Holyjoe
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Euro 2016

Postby Holyjoe » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:18 pm

The qualifying draw for the 2016 European Championships is due to be made next month, and Michele Platini has come up with an extremely convoluted solution to ensuring his own country don't lose too many ranking points during the qualification process due to non-participation as hosts. They're to be included in one of the groups but on a non-competitive basis, so that everyone who faces them will be playing friendlies and the results won't count towards qualification. Can't see any nations playing full strength sides in matches against them, why run the risk of injuries or yellow/red cards ruling players out of subsequent qualifying matches?

The thing about putting the seeded big countries in a group of six because of the telly revenue they bring in doesn't sit right with me either...

Scotland confirmed in pot four for qualifying stage of Euro 2016
24 January 2014

Scotland have been confirmed in pot four for the draw for the qualifying rounds of the 2016 European Championships.

Gordon Strachan's men will discover their fate in Nice on Sunday, Feburary 23.

Nine groups will be drawn for the qualifying phase, with France being part of the competition despite being hosts.

Eight groups will contain six teams each, while the ninth group will contain five nations.

Once the draw is made, France will be added to the group of five and will take part in friendly matches against their group rivals. Results against Les Bleus will not count towards qualifying.

The top two nations in each group will automatically qualify for Euro 2016, as well as the best third-placed nation.

The remaining eight countries who occupy third spot in their group will go into the play-off round for the 24-team tournament.

Fixtures commence on September 7-9, 2014, with the final group games being played between October 11 and 13, 2015.

As part of new rules, teams will be able to play qualifiers on any day from Thursday through to Tuesday when there is a scheduled double-header of matches.

Games in 2014 between October 9 and 14, as well as matches in 2015 between September 3 and 8, and October 8 and 13, all fall under the new criteria.

In another twist, being placed in the smaller group of five will also mean nations will avoid games against Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and England.

UEFA competition regulations state those countries must be in a group of six as they contribute the greatest TV revenue.


Finals competition format

At Euro 2016 itself, the 24 participating teams will be split into six groups of four.

The six group winners and six runners-up will all qualifying for the round of 16. They will be joined by the four best third-placed teams from the six groups.

The competition will run from June 10, 2016 until July 10, 2016.

Pots for the qualifying phase of the 2016 European Championships.

Pot one: Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, England, Portugal, Greece, Russia, Bosnia-Herzegovina

Pot two: Ukraine, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Republic of Ireland

Pot three: Serbia, Turkey, Slovenia, Israel, Norway, Slovakia, Romania, Austria, Poland

Pot four: Montenegro, Armenia, SCOTLAND, Finland, Latvia, Wales, Bulgaria, Estonia, Belarus

Pot five: Iceland, Northern Ireland, Albania, Lithuania, Moldova, FYR Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Cyprus

Pot six: Luxembourg, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands, Malta, Andorra, San Marino, Gibraltar

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby SaintsCanada » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:37 pm

I reckon Scotland will qualify for the Euro. In fact, they would have had a shot to qualify for a 16 team tournament the way they have been playing under wee Gordon.

Now, that rule about the big guns being in the groups of 6 -- this is based on their ranking, not solely on past tv ratings, yes?
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Holyjoe » Sun Jan 26, 2014 9:52 pm

SaintsCanada wrote:Now, that rule about the big guns being in the groups of 6 -- this is based on their ranking, not solely on past tv ratings, yes?


Well yeah that's the reason they're in the top seed pot, but my understanding of it is that none of the big guns would be in the group that France eventually end up getting put in because there's more money to be made from screening ten competitive internationals in England for example than there would be screening eight and two friendlies. That means that Portugal, Greece, Russia or Bosnia-Herzegovina will be the top seed in a group of five. That's not right, surely they should all have an equal chance of playing in the group of five?

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby SaintsCanada » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:02 pm

Holyjoe wrote:
SaintsCanada wrote:Now, that rule about the big guns being in the groups of 6 -- this is based on their ranking, not solely on past tv ratings, yes?


Well yeah that's the reason they're in the top seed pot, but my understanding of it is that none of the big guns would be in the group that France eventually end up getting put in because there's more money to be made from screening ten competitive internationals in England for example than there would be screening eight and two friendlies. That means that Portugal, Greece, Russia or Bosnia-Herzegovina will be the top seed in a group of five. That's not right, surely they should all have an equal chance of playing in the group of five?


Why? Presumably they could play their way into the top 5 ranking for future draws. Think of it as pot 1A (top 5 teams) and pot 1B (teams ranked 6-9).
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Holyjoe » Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:27 pm

SaintsCanada wrote:Why? Presumably they could play their way into the top 5 ranking for future draws. Think of it as pot 1A (top 5 teams) and pot 1B (teams ranked 6-9).


It's mandated in the UEFA competition regulations that Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and England "must be in a group of six as they contribute the greatest TV revenue", I don't see that as anything to do with football ranking and more about viewing figures & revenue. Portugal for example are ranked 5th in the world and Greece are 12th and one place above England. Even the Swiss are ranked eighth but are in pot two. Presumably the only way the likes of Greece or Bosnia could break into that select group is if the respective FAs pester the government to implement some sort of state-sponsored shagging campaign to boost the population and increase the number of folk available to pay for telly subscriptions (and then potentially fall foul of government intervention in football :wink: ) or they get their domestic telly companies to jack up the price of football subscription packages to crazy levels to overtake that of the 'big five'. Either way it's all about $$$ and it just doesn't sit right with me. A draw should be made on sporting merit and telly revenue shouldn't be a factor I don't think, but that's the way the game currently is unfortunately.

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby SaintsCanada » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:30 pm

Holyjoe wrote:
SaintsCanada wrote:Why? Presumably they could play their way into the top 5 ranking for future draws. Think of it as pot 1A (top 5 teams) and pot 1B (teams ranked 6-9).


It's mandated in the UEFA competition regulations that Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and England "must be in a group of six as they contribute the greatest TV revenue", I don't see that as anything to do with football ranking and more about viewing figures & revenue. Portugal for example are ranked 5th in the world and Greece are 12th and one place above England. Even the Swiss are ranked eighth but are in pot two. Presumably the only way the likes of Greece or Bosnia could break into that select group is if the respective FAs pester the government to implement some sort of state-sponsored shagging campaign to boost the population and increase the number of folk available to pay for telly subscriptions (and then potentially fall foul of government intervention in football :wink: ) or they get their domestic telly companies to jack up the price of football subscription packages to crazy levels to overtake that of the 'big five'. Either way it's all about $$$ and it just doesn't sit right with me. A draw should be made on sporting merit and telly revenue shouldn't be a factor I don't think, but that's the way the game currently is unfortunately.


I find the article ambiguous. I wasn't sure if it meant those five specific nations or the top-5 ranked teams.

Historically, UEFA didn't use the FIFA rankings, but their own, which used a different formula. If this rule is based on the top-5 seeds, it's fine. If it's literally just those 5 teams NO MATTER WHAT, then it's complete horse-poop.
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby nzfooty » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:38 am

Horse-poop it is. Article 12.01 of the regulations for this tournament states:

The team of the final tournament host association, France, qualifies automatically
for the final tournament. The remaining teams are drawn into groups of five and
six teams. The groups are formed by the UEFA administration by means of a draw,
on completion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying competition. Teams from
the national associations whose markets have made the greatest contribution to
the European Qualifiers revenue
are drawn into groups of six teams while
respecting the seeding principles.


I don't think it is particularly bad in this context. It only means that the big nations will
have two extra competitive matches against the likes of San Marino. However, what
is extremely concerning is that a precedent will be set to use revenues and market size as
a criteria for seeding in the future and in circumstances where it will hinder the
qualification process of teams that would otherwise have a decent shot at the finals.
This is slippery-slope business and has nothing to do with sport.

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby nzfooty » Mon Jan 27, 2014 11:56 am

On the other changes:

I don’t have a huge problem with France being placed in the qualifiers. I know it looks quite dodgy coming from Platini but, provided the system is kept in place for future tournaments, and that full FIFA points are awarded, I think it is a good move. Given FIFA’s newly found insistence on using only FIFA rankings to seed teams, the hosts of future EURO tournaments would get severely shafted in the World Cup qualifiers (esp. if they are middling nations that have a chance of qualifying but do not do so on regular basis – I’m thinking of the EURO 2008 and 2012 hosts, one of the co-hosts of EURO 2000 and Turkey who have narrowly missed on hosting recently and probably will get it at some stage).
The second point is, even though these matches will be treated as friendlies, it gives the smaller nations such as Azerbaijan or Moldova a friendly with France that they otherwise would’ve struggled to arrange. France could’ve been arranging a lucrative friendly against the likes of Brazil or Argentina instead.
Finally, all teams in Europe will play the same number of competitive matches and the recent debate / controversy about teams being hard done in smaller groups (in terms of FIFA points) will not be repeated.

On the subject of the expansion, from 16 to 24 teams, I was initially against it. The main reason is the quality of football. Recent EUROs have been more enjoyable than World Cup finals. I don’t think that this is down to Japan, South Korea, the US or Nigeria being less enjoyable to watch than Greece, Poland or Denmark. It seems to me that the extra knock-out match you play in the World Cup does make quite a lot of difference in terms of how you approach the tournament.

However, I’m not sure I’m completely against it any more. While again, the concept might be promoted by greed and not benevolence, if you are from a country like Wales, and have not qualified for anything since 1958, this might be attractive. This is especially true, given that it is unlikely that UEFA’s share of World Cup places will go up. There are only 13 European nations at the 2014 World Cup. I would not be surprised to see this number go down by one or two in the future given that FIFA does not have a power base in Europe. A 24 tournament will give the average sized nations is Europe a taste of tournament football, at least once in a while.

Of course, if the future tournaments are anything like South Africa 2010, I will regret those words.

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby eujin » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:21 am

Well look at that. Denmark play Portugal on 8 March 2015 in Portugal and three days later Scotland play Gibraltar, in Portugal (hopefully). Chance of a fine double header right there.

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Holyjoe » Mon Feb 24, 2014 8:57 am

Can you look up the UEFA articles of association to see if it's mandatory that England get piss easy qualifcation groups for every major tournament? It must be in there somewhere.

When I initially heard Scotland's draw I thought we were well and truly fucked, but I reckon we've got a decent chance of second in that group. FIFA reckon we do as well, the Germans are ranked 2nd in the world but Scotland are second-highest of the teams in that group at 34th. Then it's Ireland 67, Poland 70 and Georgia 103. Thing is those three sides will all fancy their chances of second as well.

Getting off to a decent start in the group is really important here unlike previous campaigns, though we're probably going to start with a defeat as we're away to Germany first. The home game against Georgia and away game against Poland in October must yield a minimum of four points and that sets up two home games against Ireland and then Gibraltar to be sitting on ten points from the first five games. Easy. None of this playing for a draw and thinking it's a good result away from home please, I'd like to think Gordon Strachan is on board with that otherwise we should just give up right now.

Bit of a concern that the home game against Ireland is scheduled for November this year and Hampden is likely to still be out of commission as they undo all the work they're currently doing to turn it into an athletics venue for the Commonwealth Games. That means Scotland taking on Ireland at either Ibrox or Parkhead, both of which have the potential to be ruined by the sizeable population of fuckwits that inhabit the west of Scotland who will turn the match into something it shouldn't be at either venue. Shunt it to Murrayfield or take the hit on capacity and hold it at Pittodrie, safest option all round really.

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Cyclops » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:04 pm

All other issues aside, the chance to watch 3 international games on 3 consecutive days x 10 match windows = 30 stadiums/countries over 13 months is a sad bastard's wet dream!

7 Sept Gibraltar v Poland, 8 Sept Spain v Macedonia, 9 Sept Andorra v Wales, for example.

Although to be honest the above fixtures would be far too mainstream for me. :albino:

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Pikey » Mon Feb 24, 2014 7:22 pm

I agree that everyone of Ireland, Scotland, Georgia and Poland should be aiming for second. The problem is that with all those teams likely to take points off each other, so being the best placed 3rd team is going to be difficult.

Also, the england draw has got to be a fix, they never have a single decent team in their group.
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby sjc_three » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:52 pm

It has to be the most boring qualification group on record for England. The only consolation is a June weekend in Ljubljana for me to look forward to next year, but lord knows how the FA will gee people up to fork out top dollar for Wembley tickets for a qualifying campaign that is largely a foregone conclusion. Famous last words. And to be honest, I hope they are. It would make it more interesting. zzzzzzzzz

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Re: Euro 2016

Postby weka » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:59 am

I'm Spain, I don't give a flying fudge who I get except maybe Germany
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Re: Euro 2016

Postby Holyjoe » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:29 pm

sjc_three wrote:It has to be the most boring qualification group on record for England. The only consolation is a June weekend in Ljubljana for me to look forward to next year, but lord knows how the FA will gee people up to fork out top dollar for Wembley tickets for a qualifying campaign that is largely a foregone conclusion. Famous last words. And to be honest, I hope they are. It would make it more interesting. zzzzzzzzz


Are they locked in to playing their friendlies at Wembley or is there scope for touring around the country? I suppose they have to keep up appearances of showing respect and consideration to their opponents but in all reality qualification will be a formality for England from this group, and as you say getting 80,000 people excited about buying tickets for qualifiers against Lithuania and Estonia is going to be rather difficult. Why not play the Swiss game at Wembley but take the other four to different parts of the country, say for example St James' Park, Villa Park, Anfield and St. Mary's.


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