Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Euro 2008 qualifier

For many people around the world, football – or soccer as it is known in America – is not only a sport, it is a religion. As the sport gains popularity in countries such as the United States, more and more fans are being drawn to the simplicity of the game. The Euro 2008 qualifier, matches that most likely can be seen on various sports channels around the world, including the United States, is fast approaching. For the initiates into the world of football, here is how it will work.

In 2004, the twelfth UEFA Euro was played, making it the largest internationally watched event next to only the FIFA World Cup. The 2008 event is shaping up to be just as big. Started in the fall of 2006 after the World Cup, football teams were divided into one group of eight teams and six groups of seven. Seeded teams would be qualified in the groups first, led by the reigning European champions, and the rest of the football community would be placed into their respective groups for competition depending on where they ranked for both the World Cup and the 2004 championship.

How are these teams ranked? The total number of points the team received in the World Cup and the 2004 championship are added together and then divided by the number of matches played. The resulting number is then used to determine their rank. If the team automatically qualified for the final matches of the last two competitions, their ranking number is determined based on the results of its last qualifying competition. Groups are then formed by means of a draw after the World Cup qualifiers. If two or more teams have the same number, they are then judged and assigned a group based on its most recent matches, average goal difference, average goals scores, average away goals scored, and drawing of lots.

The qualifying matches are then played within each group, assigned a letter A through G. Each team will play their group mates. Three points are awarded to the winning teams, one point if it is a tie, and zero point for a loss. If two or more teams end with the same number of points, additional criteria – such as goals scored at home or away from home – are then looked at to make a final determination.

From this point, the final sixteen teams – seven winners, runner-ups, and the host association teams from Austria and Switzerland – will move on to the final tournaments. They will be divided into four groups of four teams each. Once again, each team will play their group mates and score the same way. There will be a one match quarter final, a one match semi-final, and the final two teams will play for the championship on June 29, 2008.

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January 10, 2008 - Posted by | Blogroll, Euro 2008

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