Euro 2016 in France will welcome eight more teams than the previous editions
The Euro 2016 is a European national team football tournament organized by UEFA, which is scheduled to be held in France between the 10th of June and 10th of July.
For the first time, the European national teams Championship will be contested by 24 nations, expanding on the format of 16 nations used since 1996. The host team, France, is automatically qualified for the tournament and the qualifying stages for the remaining 53 European nations looking to secure the remaining 23 places in the Euro 2016 will run from September 2014 until November 2015. Under this new format, the nations that qualify for the tournament will initially compete in a group stage, consisting of six groups of four teams. The group-winners, runners-up and the four best third-placed national teams progress to the three knockout rounds, followed by the final.
France was chosen as the host by UEFA, on the 28th of May 2010, beating bids from Italy and Turkey. This will be the third time that France holds the competition after hosting the 1984 edition and the first ever Euro in 1960.
The winning side is will be awarded the Henry Delaunay Trophy, named in honor of the first General Secretary of UEFA, Henry Delaunay. The trophy is made of sterling silver, weighs 8 kg (18 lb) and is 60 cm (24 in) tall and can be kept by the winning national team until the next tournament. The runners-up are awarded a plaque and silver medals.
The football stadiums chosen by the French Football Federation to host the Euro 2016 matches are in Paris, Marseille, Lille, Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux, Lens, Nancy, Toulouse and Saint-Etienne. The tournament's mascot, chosen in an online poll, is Petit Viktor (Little Victor), a name based on the word victory. Petit Viktor is a little boy that gained superpowers after finding a magic cape, football boots and the official Euro 2016 ball.
Each nation that qualifies for the Euro 2016 is allowed to select up to 23 national footballers to represent the country. Previous winners of the competition include Germany (3), Spain (3), France (2), Italy, Czechoslovakia, Netherlands, Greece, Denmark and the Soviet Union. The tournament will also distinguish individual performances with the Top Scorer and Best Player awards as well as by choosing the Euro 2016 Best Eleven, comprised of the best players, in the tournament, in each single position.