FC Dallas is an American professional soccer club based in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas. The club competes as a member of Major League Soccer; the franchise began play in 1996 as a charter club of the league. The club was founded in 1995 as the Dallas Burn before adopting its current name in 2004. Dallas plays its home games at their 20,500-capacity soccer-specific Toyota Stadium, where they have played since 2005. In the club's early years, Dallas played their home games in the Cotton Bowl; the team is owned by the Hunt Sports Group led by brothers Clark Hunt and Dan Hunt, the team's president. The Hunt family owns the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs and part of the Chicago Bulls. FC Dallas in 2016 won their first Supporters' Shield. In 2010 they were runners-up in the MLS Cup, losing to the Colorado Rapids in extra time; the team has won the U. S. Open Cup on two occasions; the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, in its Club World Ranking for the year ending December 31, 2016, placed FC Dallas as the 190th best club in the world and the ninth best club in CONCACAF.
Dallas was awarded a Major League Soccer franchise on June 6, 1995, the same day as teams were awarded to Kansas City and Colorado. The team was given its name for the state's hot weather. On October 17, former Mexico international Hugo Sánchez was designated to the team as their first player. Not attracting investors, the Burn was financed by the league itself. On April 14, 1996, the Dallas Burn played their first game, defeating the San Jose Clash in a shootout win in front of a crowd of 27,779 fans at the Cotton Bowl. Five days Jason Kreis scored the team's first goal in a 3–0 home win over the Kansas City Wiz. With a record of 17–15, the Burn finished in second in the Western Conference behind the Los Angeles Galaxy, they lost in the best of three playoff semifinals to the Wiz after three games, the last one being decided by a shootout. Their first campaign in the U. S. Open Cup ended with a 2–3 home defeat in the semi-finals against D. C. United. In their second season, the Burn again reached the playoffs, where they lost in the conference finals to the Colorado Rapids.
In 1997, they won their first U. S. Open Cup by defeating the MLS Cup champions, D. C. United. In 1999, striker Kreis was voted the league's MVP for a season in which he became the first player to reach 15 goals and 15 assists; that season ended in the playoffs with a defeat to the Galaxy in the conference finals. In October 2000, head coach Dave Dir was fired, despite again taking the team to the playoffs for the fifth consecutive time. Dir's replacement in January 2001 was Mike Jeffries, who had won the 1998 MLS Cup and two U. S. Open Cups with the Chicago Fire. In his first season in charge, cut short as a result of the September 11 attacks, Dallas lost in the playoff quarterfinals to Jeffries' former team. For the 2003 season, the Burn relocated their home games from the Cotton Bowl to the much lower capacity Dragon Stadium in Southlake, a northern Fort Worth suburb; the team performed poorly in 2003 and Jeffries was fired in September. He was temporarily replaced by his former Northern Ireland international Colin Clarke.
The team missed the playoffs for the first time, having been one of only two teams to have qualified on all seven prior occasions. For the 2004 season, Clarke was named the permanent coach and the team returned to the Cotton Bowl, for a campaign in which they again missed the playoffs. In August, club owner Lamar Hunt announced that the club, would be re-branded and known as "FC Dallas" to coincide with their new soccer-specific stadium in Frisco for the 2005 season. In March 2005, FC Dallas signed Guatemalan forward Carlos Ruiz, who had scored 50 goals in 72 games for the Galaxy and earned the MVP award for helping them to the 2002 MLS Cup. On August 6, FC Dallas played their inaugural game at Pizza Hut Park and tied the New York/New Jersey MetroStars, 2–2. Ranked second in the West behind the San Jose Earthquakes, Dallas returned to the playoffs for the first time in two seasons, losing in the conference semifinals to Colorado in a penalty kick shootout, with Roberto Miña's attempt saved by Joe Cannon.
In 2006, the team finished the regular season at the top of the Western Conference, but lost in the playoffs in the conference semifinals again, leading to Clarke's dismissal. He was replaced by Steve Morrow. In 2007, a third consecutive playoff appearance ended at the same stage with a 4–2 aggregate defeat to fellow Texas club, the Houston Dynamo, who would go on to win their second consecutive MLS Cup. In 2005 and 2007, Dallas reached their first two U. S. Open Cup finals since their 1997 victory, losing both by one-goal margins to the Galaxy and the New England Revolution respectively. For the following two seasons, Dallas missed the MLS playoffs. During the 2008 season, Morrow was replaced by Schellas Hyndman. In 2009, the club signed Bryan Leyva as the club's first Homegrown Player from its development academy. In 2010, Dallas played in the MLS Cup for the first time, losing 2–1 after extra time to Colorado at BMO Field in Toronto, after an own goal by George John, they were the last of the surviving original MLS clubs to appear in the MLS Cup final.
On-loan Colombian midfielder David Ferreira was voted the league's MVP, having missed only one minute of the season, Hyndman won the MLS Coach of the Year Award. By finishing as runners-up in the MLS Cup, Dallas competed in the 2011–12 CONCACAF Champions League, their first time in the leading continental tournament. Following a victory in the preliminary round against Alianza F. C. of
Emmanuel Amuneke born 25 December 1970 is a Nigerian football coach and former player, manager of the Tanzania national team. A former winger, his professional playing career was blighted by injury, he represented Nigeria at the 1994 World Cup. In his early career, Amuneke won the domestic league titles in Nigeria and Egypt, while playing for Julius Berger F. C. and Zamalek SC respectively. In 1994, he signed for Sporting Clube de Portugal, scoring seven league goals in his first season, including one against S. L. Benfica in the Lisbon derby, adding the campaign's Portuguese Cup. In the 1996 December transfer window, Amuneke was bought by La Liga giants FC Barcelona for $3.6 million, making his official debut on the 22nd in a 1–0 home win against Celta de Vigo and scoring on 15 March of the following year in a 1–0 success at CD Logroñés. His spell in Catalonia would be ended in the 1997 off-season after he suffered a serious knee injury, following which he appeared rarely for the club. Amuneke never recovered from his condition after being released by Barça in 2000, playing for Albacete Balompié, Busan I'Cons and Al-Wehdat SC, retiring from football at the age of 34.
In 2008, he spent some time as an assistant coach at Saudi Premier League side Al-Hazm, but left to become a scout for Manchester United. Amuneke played 27 times for Nigeria, he was part of the team that participated at the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, a first-ever for the African country, scoring against Bulgaria and Italy. Additionally, Amuneke played all the games at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, scoring the winning goal in the final as the national team won the gold medal. Knee problems kept him out of the 1998 World Cup. On 23 December 2008, Amuneke took over the head coaching duties at former team Julius Berger, after completing two years of coaching courses in Europe. For a while, he combined this position with the role for the Red Devils, but quit his post in England to concentrate on his coaching career. Amuneke was sacked halfway through his first season after conflicts with management, despite saving the team from relegation; the club however claimed he was sacked for "over gross insubordination".
He was hired in early November 2009 as the new coach of Ocean Boys FC. He became coach of Al Khartoum SC in November 2017, left in March 2018. On 6 August 2018, he was appointed as Tanzania national football team head coach. Amuneke's younger brothers and Kevin, were footballers. Both played several years in Portugal, amongst other countries. Emmanuel Amunike at ForaDeJogo Emmanuel Amunike at BDFutbol Emmanuel Amunike at National-Football-Teams.com
SBV Vitesse known as Vitesse Arnhem, or as Vitesse, is a Dutch professional football club based in Arnhem. Established on 14 May 1892, Vitesse is the oldest professional football club in the Eredivisie; the club has enjoyed some success in the competition, has featured in the UEFA Cup competition and became the first Dutch football club to be owned by a foreigner when it was taken over by Georgian businessman Merab Zjordania in 2010. Since 1998, the club has played its home games at the GelreDome, their best result in the Eredivisie was third place in 1997–98. The club won the KNVB Cup in 2016–17. Throughout the years, Vitesse established itself as a stepping stone for future world class players like Willem Hesselink, Just Göbel, Roy Makaay, Pierre van Hooijdonk, Mahamadou Diarra, Philip Cocu, Nikos Machlas, Sander Westerveld, Raimond van der Gouw, Wilfried Bony, Marco van Ginkel and Nemanja Matić. Vitesse, founded in 1892, are the 2nd oldest professional football club still in existence in the Netherlands, after Sparta Rotterdam who were formed in 1888.
The roots of Vitesse pre-dated Sparta by a year as in 1887, a club with the name "Arnhemsche cricket- en voetbalvereeniging Vitesse" was formed by a group of high school students who played their sport on the Rijnkade, overlooking the River Rhine in the city centre. Reluctant to choose a Latin or English name for the club as they felt those languages were too elitist, they picked the French word Vitesse, meaning "speed". In 1891 the club disbanded as they were no longer able to find anywhere suitable to play cricket after a Velodrome was built on their usual playing field in the Klarenbeek Park; the following year a group of wealthy students resurrected the sports club, this time with the name AVC Vitesse. In the summer they in the winter football. In the end of 1892, Vitesse played its first real football match, in 1894 Vitesse disbanded the cricket branch. In 1895 and 1896 Vitesse became champions of the Gelderland competition. From the foundation of the Dutch national football championship in 1898 until 1954, the title was decided through play-offs by a handful of clubs who had won their regional league.
Vitesse lost the final of the national championship six times. In 1912, Vitesse reached the final of the Dutch Cup Tournament for the first time. Vitesse lost the final with 0–2 from HFC Haarlem. In this period Vitesse had top players, likes Willem Hesselink and Just Göbel; this players were active in the Dutch national team. In 1914 John William Sutcliffe became the first foreign trainer. During World War II, Vitesse didn't play-official matches because playing football in the open air was forbidden. During the Battle of Arnhem, the residents of the city were forcibly evicted from their homes, allowing the Germans to turn the north bank of the Rhine into a defended line. Residents were not allowed to return home without a permit and most did not return until after the war; the football field and clubhouse was destroyed. The damage was repaired in the years after the liberation. In 1984 it was decided to divide the amateur sections of the club; the professional section was renamed SBV Vitesse whilst the amateur section became "Vitesse 1892", which lasted until they disbanded in 2009.
From 1984, Karel Aalbers was the president of SBV Vitesse. Aalbers' goal was to bring Vitesse from the bottom of the Second League, the league in which the club originated, to the top 40 soccer clubs of Europe, he developed the basic idea for the'Gelredome', a stadium with a sliding pitch that can be moved out of the building. The same system was applied in Gelsenkirchen and in Japan. Events such as pop concerts can be held without damaging the grass. Gelredome opened in 1998, it has a roof that can be closed. It is climate controlled as well. In the first season after the opening, Gelredome's attendance rose to 20,000. Vitesse made their debut in European competition in 1990; the club won their first match in the first round 1–0 over Derry City. The club remained financially sound through making notable profits on the transfer market. Players such as Roy Makaay, Sander Westerveld, Nikos Machlas, Glenn Helder and Philip Cocu were sold for large sums of money. Others came to occupy empty player positions, such as Pierre van Hooijdonk.
Vitesse finished in top 4 positions, made profits and showed a solid balance sheet in the final years of Aalbers' presidency. The club became regular competitors in the UEFA Cup and in 1997–1998 finished third in the Eredivise, its record highest finish to date. Herbert Neumann was Vitesse's manager over most of these years, while star players included: Nikos Machlas, the first Vitesse player to win the European Golden Boot in 1998 when he scored 34 goals in a season. Additional stars included Dejan Čurović, who spent six years at Vitesse playing 109 matches as a striker, scoring 41 goals including the first goal in GelreDome. Meanwhile, Dutch forward Roy Makaay spent four years at Vitesse, scoring 42 goals in 109 matches between 1993 and 1997. Aalbers resigned on 15 February 2000, after the main sponsor, threatened to pull the plug if he did not. Nuon, as a public utility company owne
Clemens Westerhof is a Dutch football manager, who has worked in various football positions on the African continent since 1989. He is most noted for his success with the Nigerian national team. Under Westerhof, the Super Eagles won the 1994 African Cup of Nations and qualified for the second round of the FIFA World Cup that year. Westerhof began his career as an assistant coach with Feyenoord Rotterdam in the Dutch Eredivisie, he has coached Vitesse Arnhem, the Zimbabwean national team, the Sporting Lions of Zimbabwe's Premier League, the Bush Bucks and Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa's Premier Soccer League. In addition, he has served as technical director of the Harare-based Agatha Sheneti Youth Academy and of the Harare United club, linked to the Academy. In 2001, he was technical director of Dynamos FC, Zimbabwe's biggest club, but lasted in the position just a few months. In late 1989, Westerhof was signed by the Nigerian Football Association to coach the national team. After the team failed to qualify for the 1990 FIFA World Cup by failing to get at least a draw away to Cameroon on the last day of qualifying, Westerhof set about rebuilding the team.
His effect was immediate, as Nigeria reached the final of the 1990 African Cup of Nations where they lost 1–0 to the host nation Algeria. In the lead-up to the 1992 African Cup of Nations, the Nigerian team which had adopted the nickname "Super Eagles" since losing controversially to Cameroon in the 1988 African Cup of Nations final match tried to justify the tag thanks to their recent winning run under Westerhof, they placed third at that tournament. In 1992, Nigeria began its quest to qualify for its first-ever FIFA World Cup, which would be held in the United States two years later. Placed in a group with South Africa and Congo, Nigeria finished top of its group in the first round, winning 3 games and drawing 1, did not concede a single goal in all 4 games. For the second and final round, Nigeria was grouped with Ivory Algeria; the Super Eagles won 2 games, drew 1 and lost 1, finished equal with Ivory Coast on points but advanced to the World Cup with a superior goal difference. Nigeria entered the 1994 World Cup in Group D with Argentina and Greece.
Despite losing 2–1 to Argentina, wins over Bulgaria and Greece allowed the Super Eagles to do the unthinkable and finish top of the group, advancing to the second round. Westerhof's side faced Italy in the second round. A first-half goal by Emmanuel Amuneke gave Nigeria a 1–0 lead at half-time, they appeared to be heading for an upset win when Roberto Baggio scored to tie the game just 2 minutes from the final whistle. Baggio scored again from a penalty kick, 10 minutes into extra time, giving Italy a 2–1 win and knocking Nigeria out of the tournament. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the Super Eagles' World Cup campaign was considered a tremendous success, Westerhof and the players were hailed as heroes on their return to Nigeria. Between the qualifying and the final round of the 1994 World Cup, Nigeria qualified for and competed in the 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia. After finishing top of their qualifying group, Nigeria advanced to the final round where they were placed in Group B with Egypt and Gabon.
They beat Gabon to advance to the quarter-finals where they beat Zaire. A penalty shootout win over Ivory Coast in the semi-finals set up a final match against Zambia, which they won 2–1, it was Nigeria's second African Cup of Nations championship, the first since 1980, the first trophy in Westerhof's career as a manager. Westerhof is credited with turning Nigeria into a perennial powerhouse in African football and showing that they, other African nations, can compete on the world stage, he is responsible for. Players such as Jay-Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, Nwankwo Kanu, Rashidi Yekini, Daniel Amokachi and others, who all went on to successful careers with various high-profile European clubs, entered the world spotlight while playing under Westerhof. Following a 2–1 defeat by Italy at the 1994 FIFA World Cup which eliminated Nigeria from the tournament, striker Rashidi Yekini was critical of both Westerhof and his teammates, telling reporters: "I have always been against this coach... It is no secret that I don't like him and he doesn't like me.
I tried to go against him long ago. As a result, I was played out of the game. I never saw the ball."Finidi George and Emmanuel Amuneke were two other Nigerian international players reported to have fallen out of favour with Westerhof. Westerhof sued the South African Football Association in 2000 over an alleged breach of contract, claiming they had picked him to coach that country's national team, he was passed over for the position, it was given to Carlos Queiroz. The dispute was settled out-of-court, with Westerhof receiving less than the reported R1 million. Westerhof was married to Zimbabwean model Tendayi Westerhof, she told the Financial Gazette newspaper that, "I have four children with three men... and not four" and that her ex-husband had not paid a "single cent" towards the support
Watford Football Club is a professional football club based in Watford, England, that plays in the Premier League, the highest level in the English football league system. Founded in 1898 by the amalgamation of West Herts and Watford St. Mary's. After finishing the 1914–15 season as Southern League champions under the management of Harry Kent, Watford joined the Football League in 1920; the club played at several grounds in its early history, before moving to a permanent location at Vicarage Road in 1922, where it remains. Watford spent most of the following half century in the lower divisions of The Football League, changing colours and crest on multiple occasions. England manager Graham Taylor's tenure at the club saw Watford scale new heights. Between Taylor's appointment in 1977 and departure in 1987, Watford rose from the Fourth Division to the First Division; the team finished second in the First Division in the 1982–83 season, competed in the UEFA Cup in 1983–84, reached the 1984 FA Cup Final.
Watford experienced a decade of decline between 1987 and 1997, before Taylor returned as full-time manager, leading the team to successive promotions from the renamed Second Division to the Premier League for one season in 1999–2000. The club experienced a further one season stint in the top division of English football during the 2006–07 season, under Aidy Boothroyd's management. Watford secured promotion in 2014–15, have competed in the Premier League since the 2015–16 season finishing 13th, 17th and 14th respectively. Watford is owned by the Pozzo family, which owns Udinese Calcio in Italy and Granada CF in Spain. Sir Elton John, who owned Watford during both of Graham Taylor's successful periods as manager, served alongside Taylor as the club's joint Honorary Life President until 2008, only to resume the role he shared alongside Graham Taylor until Taylor's death. Watford Football Club was formed on 15 April 1898 by the amalgamation of two strong local clubs, West Herts and Watford St Mary's.
The Watford Observer of 7 May 1898 reported - When three-parts of the season was gone, there were whispers of the advantages of amalgamation of the two clubs. That the principle was right few disputed, the question narrowed itself down to a few minor difficulties, it was ascertained that the executive on both sides regarded the suggestion favourably, joint meetings of the officials were arranged. The proposals took a definite shape, soon amalgamation was a thing accomplished, it was decided, that each club should finish off its fixtures. Next season the Watford club will play on the Cassio-Road ground, one of the chief ideas of the amalgamation is to have a second team of sufficient strength to be an attraction while the first string is engaged elsewhere; the details of the amalgamation scheme we have given in these columns. Speaking the local football season which has just closed has been a most important one, it has witnessed two steps which have marked fresh epochs - the adoption of professionalism and the amalgamation of West Herts and Watford St. Mary's.
The amalgamation was approved by the full F. A. committee on 27 May 1898 as reported by the Lichfield Mercury of 28 May 1898 "permission was given to Watford St. Mary's and West Herts to take the name of Watford Football Club, the two clubs having amalgamated." West Herts were known as Watford Rovers who were formed in 1881 by Henry Grover, who went on to play for the club as a full back. Rovers composed of amateur players, held home games at several locations in the town of Watford; the team first competed in the FA Cup in the 1886–87 season, in 1889 Watford won the County Cup for the first time. The team became the football section of "West Hertfordshire Club and Ground" in 1891, moved to a ground on Cassio Road; as "West Herts" they joined the Southern Football League in 1896. West Herts fortunes slumped at the start of the 1897/98 season and attendances were less than 200, they took the bold step of turning their fortunes revived. Watford St. Mary's were runners up in the Hertfordshire Senior Cup of 1894/95 and attracted crowds of 400 to 500 when West Herts were at home.
The two clubs talked of an amalgamation, which occurred on 15 April 1898. This was reported by the Watford Observer of 7 May 1898, it was agreed. The new club was named Watford Football Club. Following relegation to the Southern League Second Division in 1903, Watford appointed its first manager – former England international and First Division top scorer John Goodall, he led Watford to promotion, kept the team in the division until his departure in 1910. Despite financial constraints, Watford won the Southern League title in the 1914–15 season under his successor, Harry Kent. Watford held the title for five years following the suspension of the Southern League during the First World War – after finishing the 1919–20 season runners-up on goal average, the club resigned from the Southern League to join the new Football League Third Division. From 1921–22, the third tier of The Football League consisted of two parallel sections of 22 clubs, fighting both for promotion to the Second Division and battling to hold on to their league status.
There was a re-election system in place which meant the bottom two teams in each of the two divisions had to apply for re-election to the league. Watford finished outside the top six league positions in every season between 1922 and 1934. Following Kent's departure in 1926, they finished 21st out of 22 clubs in 1926–27, but were unanimously re-elected to the league after a ballot of clubs in the top two divisions of The Football
1994 African Cup of Nations
The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations was the 19th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, the soccer championship of Africa. It was hosted by Tunisia. Just as in 1992, the field of twelve teams was split into four groups of three. Nigeria won its second championship, beating Zambia in the final 2−1; the Zambian team was constituted, following an air disaster in which eighteen players and several staff members of the previous team had been killed. The 12 qualified teams are: * Senegal replaced Algeria Teams highlighted in green progress to the Quarter Finals. 5 goals Rashidi Yekini4 goals Joël Tiéhi2 goals 1 goal Goalkeeper Ahmed ShobairDefenders Frank Amankwah Harrison Chongo Elijah Litana Benedict IrohaMidfielders Serge-Alain Maguy Jay-Jay Okocha Daniel Amokachi Abedi PeleForwards Joël Tiéhi Rashidi Yekini Details at RSSSF Details at www.angelfire.com
1998 FIFA World Cup
The 1998 FIFA World Cup was the 16th FIFA World Cup, the world championship for men's national association football teams. It was held in France from 10 June to 12 July 1998; the country was chosen as the host nation by FIFA for the second time in the history of the tournament, defeating Morocco in the bidding process. It was the second time that France staged the competition and the ninth time that it was held in Europe. Qualification for the finals began in March 1996 and concluded in November 1997. For the first time in the competition, the group stage was expanded from 24 teams to 32, with eight groups of four. 64 matches were played in 10 stadiums in 10 host cities, with the opening match and final staged at the Stade de France, Saint-Denis. The tournament was won by host country France. France won their first title, becoming the seventh nation to win a World Cup, the sixth to win the tournament on home soil. Croatia, Jamaica and South Africa made their first appearances in the finals. France was awarded the 1998 World Cup on 2 July 1992 by the executive committee of FIFA during a general meeting in Zürich, Switzerland.
They defeated Morocco by 12 votes to 7. Switzerland withdrew; this made France the third country to host two World Cups, after Mexico and Italy in 1986 and 1990 respectively. France hosted the third edition of the World Cup in 1938. England, who hosted the competition in 1966 and won it, were among the original applicants, but withdrew their application in favour of an successful bid to host UEFA Euro 1996. On 4 June 2015, while co-operating with the FBI and the Swiss authorities, Chuck Blazer confirmed that he and other members of FIFA's executive committee were bribed during the 1998 and 2010 World Cups host selection process. Blazer stated that "we facilitated bribes in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup". Since France won the selection process it was thought the bribery came from its bid committee, it transpired that the bribe payment was from the failed Moroccan bid. The qualification draw for the 1998 World Cup finals took place in the Musée du Louvre, Paris on 12 December 1995.
As tournament hosts, France was exempt from the draw. 174 teams from six confederations participated, 24 more than in the previous round. Fourteen countries qualified from the European zone. Ten were determined after group play - the best second-placed team. CONMEBOL and CAF were each given five spots in the final tournament, while three spots were contested between 30 CONCACAF members in the North and Central America and the Caribbean zone; the winner of the Oceanian zone advanced to an intercontinental play-off against the runner-up of the Asian play-off, determined by the two best second placed teams. Four nations qualified for the first time: Croatia, Jamaica and South Africa; the last team to qualify was Iran by virtue of beating Australia in a two-legged tie on 29 November 1997. This was Team Melli's first appearance in the finals since 1978, the last time Tunisia qualified for the tournament. Chile qualified for the first time since 1982, after serving a ban that saw them miss out on the two previous tournaments.
Paraguay and Denmark returned for the first time since 1986. Austria, England and Yugoslavia returned after missing out on the 1994 tournament, with the Balkan team now appearing under the name of FR Yugoslavia. Among the teams who failed to qualify were two-time winners Uruguay; as of 2018, this is the most recent time Austria, Norway, Bulgaria and Jamaica have qualified for a FIFA World Cup finals, as well as the last time Portugal missed out. The highest ranked team not to qualify was Czech Republic, while the lowest ranked team that did qualify was Nigeria; the following 32 teams, shown with final pre-tournament rankings, qualified for the final tournament. France's bid to host the World Cup centered on a national stadium with 80,000 seats and nine other stadiums located across the country; when the finals were awarded in July 1992, none of the regional club grounds were of a capacity meeting FIFA's requirements – namely being able to safely seat 40,000. The proposed national stadium, colloquially referred to as the'Grand stade' met with controversy at every stage of planning.
As Mayor of Paris, Jacques Chirac negotiated a deal with Prime Minister Édouard Balladur to bring the Stade de France – as it was named now, to the commune of Saint-Denis just north of the capital city. Construction on the stadium started in December 1995 and was completed after 26 months of work in November 1997 at a cost of ₣2.67 billion. The choice of stadium locations was drafted from an original list of 14 cities. FIFA and CFO monitored the progress and quality of preparations, culminating in the former providing final checks of the grounds weeks before the tournament commenced. Montpellier was the surprise inclusion from the final list of cities because of its low urban hierarchy in comparison to Strasbourg, who boasted a better hierarchy an