UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying Preview

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UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifying Preview

This is my special preview about qualifying for the European championship 2012, which will be held in Poland and Ukraine.

There are a total of nine groups. Six of these groups have six teams, and the remaining three groups consist of five teams. At the conclusion of qualifying, the team at the top of each group will qualify automatically.

The second-placed team with the most points from games versus the first-, third-, fourth- and fifth-placed teams will qualify also. The remaining eight second-placed teams will contest two-legged playoffs for the right to join them.

The organization of the event was initially contested by five bids representing seven countries: Croatia-Hungary (joint bid), Poland-Ukraine (joint bid), Turkey, Greece, and Italy. On Nov. 8, 2005, UEFA's Executive Committee whittled the candidates down to a short list of three: Italy (11 votes), Croatia-Hungary (nine votes), and Poland-Ukraine (seven votes).

The hosts were chosen on April 18, 2007 in Cardiff, Wales. The results of the voting were: Poland-Ukraine (eight votes), Italy (0 votes), Croatia-Hungary ( 0 votes).

The Polish-Ukrainian hosting is seen as a way of shifting the focus towards central Europe and eastern Europe, whose population demonstrates a strong feeling for football but are less developed in terms of quality of the local leagues and football infrastructure when compared to western Europe.

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