Association football, more known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport; the game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal. Association football is one of a family of football codes, which emerged from various ball games played worldwide since antiquity; the modern game traces its origins to 1863 when the Laws of the Game were codified in England by The Football Association. Players are not allowed to touch the ball with hands or arms while it is in play, except for the goalkeepers within the penalty area. Other players use their feet to strike or pass the ball, but may use any other part of their body except the hands and the arms; the team that scores most goals by the end of the match wins.
If the score is level at the end of the game, either a draw is declared or the game goes into extra time or a penalty shootout depending on the format of the competition. Association football is governed internationally by the International Federation of Association Football, which organises World Cups for both men and women every four years; the rules of association football were codified in England by the Football Association in 1863 and the name association football was coined to distinguish the game from the other forms of football played at the time rugby football. The first written "reference to the inflated ball used in the game" was in the mid-14th century: "Þe heued fro þe body went, Als it were a foteballe"; the Online Etymology Dictionary states that the "rules of the game" were made in 1848, before the "split off in 1863". The term soccer comes from a slang or jocular abbreviation of the word "association", with the suffix "-er" appended to it; the word soccer was first recorded in 1889 in the earlier form of socca.
Within the English-speaking world, association football is now called "football" in the United Kingdom and "soccer" in Canada and the United States. People in countries where other codes of football are prevalent may use either term, although national associations in Australia and New Zealand now use "football" for the formal name. According to FIFA, the Chinese competitive game cuju is the earliest form of football for which there is evidence. Cuju players could use any part of the body apart from hands and the intent was kicking a ball through an opening into a net, it was remarkably similar to modern football. During the Han Dynasty, cuju games were standardised and rules were established. Phaininda and episkyros were Greek ball games. An image of an episkyros player depicted in low relief on a vase at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens appears on the UEFA European Championship Cup. Athenaeus, writing in 228 AD, referenced the Roman ball game harpastum. Phaininda and harpastum were played involving hands and violence.
They all appear to have resembled rugby football and volleyball more than what is recognizable as modern football. As with pre-codified "mob football", the antecedent of all modern football codes, these three games involved more handling the ball than kicking. Other games included kemari in chuk-guk in Korea. Association football in itself does not have a classical history. Notwithstanding any similarities to other ball games played around the world FIFA has recognised that no historical connection exists with any game played in antiquity outside Europe; the modern rules of association football are based on the mid-19th century efforts to standardise the varying forms of football played in the public schools of England. The history of football in England dates back to at least the eighth century AD; the Cambridge Rules, first drawn up at Cambridge University in 1848, were influential in the development of subsequent codes, including association football. The Cambridge Rules were written at Trinity College, Cambridge, at a meeting attended by representatives from Eton, Rugby and Shrewsbury schools.
They were not universally adopted. During the 1850s, many clubs unconnected to schools or universities were formed throughout the English-speaking world, to play various forms of football; some came up with their own distinct codes of rules, most notably the Sheffield Football Club, formed by former public school pupils in 1857, which led to formation of a Sheffield FA in 1867. In 1862, John Charles Thring of Uppingham School devised an influential set of rules; these ongoing efforts contributed to the formation of The Football Association in 1863, which first met on the morning of 26 October 1863 at the Freemasons' Tavern in Great Queen Street, London. The only school to be represented on this occasion was Charterhouse; the Freemason's Tavern was the setting for five more meetings between October and December, which produced the first comprehensive set of rules. At the final meeting, the first FA treasurer, the representative from Blackheath, withdrew his club from the FA over the removal of two draft rules at the previous meeting: the first allowed for running with the ball in hand.
Other English rugby clubs followed this lead and did not join the FA and instead in 1871 formed the Rugby Football Union. The eleven remaining clubs, under
FC Basel 1893 known as FC Basel, FCB, or just Basel, is a Swiss football club based in Basel. Formed in 1893, the club has been Swiss national champions 20 times, Swiss Cup winners 12 times, Swiss League Cup winners once. Basel have competed in European competitions every season since 1999–2000, they have qualified for the Group Stages of the Champions League more times than any other Swiss club – a total of seven times – and are the only Swiss club to have qualified to the Group Stages directly. Since 2001 the club has played its home games at St. Jakob-Park, built on the site of their previous home, St. Jakob Stadium, their home colours are red and blue, leading to a nickname of "RotBlau". FC Basel was started by an advertisement placed by Roland Geldner in the 12 November 1893 edition of the Basler national newspaper, requesting that a football team be formed and that anyone who wished to join should meet up the following Wednesday at 8:15 in the restaurant Schuhmachern-Zunft. Eleven men attended the meeting from the academic community, founding Fussball Club Basel on 15 November 1893.
The club colours from the first day on were blue. Basel's first game was on 26 November 1893, an internal match between two ad hoc FCB teams. Two weeks FCB had their first official appearance in a game against a team formed by students from the high school gymnastic club. FCB won 2–0. Basel continued to only play friendly matches, until they joined the second Serie A championship organized by the Swiss Football Association; the Serie A was divided into an east, a central and a west group. The winners of each group qualified for the finals. Basel did not qualify for the finals and they did not compete in the championship the following season; the Serie A 1900 -- 01 was divided into an east and a west group. Basel were with three teams from Zürich and two other teams from Basel, Old Boys and Fortuna Basel in the west group. Basel ended the season with two draws and six defeats in 5th position in the group. Basel did not have much of an early footballing success, waiting 40 years before winning their first trophy.
At the beginning of the 1932–33 season, the Austrian ex-international footballer Karl Kurz took over as club trainer. There were eight teams in Group 1 of the 1932–33 Nationalliga. Basel finished the season with seven victories from 14 games; the play-off game between the second placed teams from both groups was held in Basel at the Stadion Rankhof, but the home team lost 3–4 to Servette FC Genève. In the Swiss Cup, Basel advanced to the final, played in the Hardturm in Zürich. Basel won 4–3 and thus their first national title, defeating arch-rivals and reigning cup-holders Grasshoppers in what is still considered to be one of the best cup finals in Swiss football history. During the following five seasons, Basel were positioned towards the middle of the Nationliga, not having much to do with the championship not having to worry about relegation, but the 1938–39 Nationalliga did not mean well with them. With just five wins and with twelve defeats, they finished in the last position in the league table and were relegated.
The 1941–42 season was Basel's third season in the 1st League after relegation. Eugen Rupf was player-coach for his second year. Basel finished their season as winners of group East. In the play-offs against group West winners Bern, the away tie ending with a goalless draw and Basel won their home tie 3–1 to achieve Promotion. In the Swiss Cup five home games, a coin toss in the quarter-final and a replay in the semi-final was needed to qualify for the final; the final against Grasshoppers ended goalless after extra time and a replay was required here too. In the replay – played at the Wankdorf Stadion against the Nationalliga champions – Basel led at half-time through two goals by Fritz Schmidlin, but two goals from Grubenmann a third from Neukom gave Grasshoppers a 3–2 victory. After just three seasons in the top flight of Swiss football, Basel suffered relegation again, but achieved immediate re-promotion in the 1944–45 season. Anton Schall, another Austrian ex-international, became the club's new trainer.
Basel finished the Nationalliga A season in fourth position, with 12 victories from 26 games, scoring a total of 60 goals. Basel won the cup for the second time as they beat Lausanne Sports 3–0 in the final at the Stadion Neufeld in Bern. Paul Stöcklin scored Bader scored the other one. At the beginning of the 1952–53 season, René Bader took over the job as club trainer from Ernst Hufschmid, who had acted as trainer the previous five years. Bader acted as Willy Dürr was his assistant. Basel ended the season four points ahead of BSC Young Boys. Basel won 17 of the 26 games, losing only once, they scored 72 goals conceding 38. Josef Hügi was the team's top league goal scorer; the Czechoslovakian manager Jiří Sobotka was the club manager at this time, he taken the job over from Jenő Vincze the year before. Basel finished the championship in sixth position. Heinz Blumer was Basel's top scorer this season with 16 goals, Karl Odermatt their second best goal scorer with 14; the Wankdorf Stadium hosted the Swiss Cup final on 15 April 1963, Basel played against favourites Grasshoppers.
Two goals after half-time, one by Heinz Blumer and the second from Otto Ludwig, gave Basel a 2–0 victory and their third Cup win in their history. Peter Füri played in all games save the final due to an illness. On 26 December 1964 FCB played against G
Fussballclub Zürich abbreviated to FC Zürich or FCZ, is a Swiss football club based in the city of Zürich that plays in the Super League, the first tier in the Swiss football league system. The club has won the Swiss Super League 12 times and the Swiss Cup 10 times; the club won the 2009 Swiss Super League and last won the Swiss Cup in 2018. They play their home games at the Letzigrund in Zürich. For the women's team see FC Zürich Frauen; the club was founded in summer 1896 by former members of the two local clubs FC Turicum and FC Excelsior. The official founding date was set at 1 August 1896. One of the founding members was the FC Barcelona founder, Joan Gamper and playing for FC Excelsior and its successor between 1894 and 1897; the new club played its first game on 30 August 1896 on Velorennbahn Hardau in Zürich against FC Phönix St. Gallen with a 3:3 draw. In 1898, FC Excelsior merged with FC Zürich and local club FC Victoria joined shortly thereafter; the club played its first game in 1896 with the colors white.
After that colors were changed to red and white also to differentiate oneself from rivals Grasshopper Club Zürich. When Grasshopper Club temporarily retired from the championship in 1909, FCZ returned to the official colors blue and white and has maintained them since. Zürich won its first title in the Swiss Serie A in 1901–02, but did not win it again until 1923–24; until the 1930s, the club's sporting remit included rowing, boxing and handball, but focused on football. Between 1925 and 1960, Zürich were in the "wilderness years," devoid of success; the club struggled to keep in the top flight and were relegated from the Super League in 1933–34, playing in the 1. Liga until 1941. In 1940–41, they returned to the Nationalliga, where they stayed until their relegation in 1945–46, they were back in the Nationalliga A in 1947–48 and stayed in the top flight until relegated once more in 1956–57. They were promoted from the Nationalliga B to contest the 1958–59 Nationalliga A, finishing in third place.
This period was known as the "Golden Years" by the FCZ faithful. At this time, the club was run by the legendary President Edwin Nägeli and had players such as Köbi Kuhn, Fritz Künzli, Ilija Katić, René Botteron, many more. Zürich won seven championships in the years 1963, 1966, 1968, 1974, 1975, 1976 and 1981, they won the Swiss Cup five times in 1966, 1970, 1972, 1973, in 1976. FCZ had some success in Europe getting to the semi-finals of the European Cup 1963–64, before losing to Real Madrid and reaching the semi-finals in the European Cup 1976–77, where they lost to Liverpool. Following the club's league title in 1981, the club went into a decline and in 1988 they were relegated to the Nationalliga B. Zürich returned to the top league in 1990; the club were beaten by Roma. The club won the Swiss Cup in 2000, beating Lausanne in the final and in 2005 beating Luzern. On 13 May 2006, FCZ ended their 25 years wait for a league title with a dramatic final day victory against FC Basel to win the Super League.
They won thanks to a goal scored in the 93rd minute by Iulian Filipescu. The goal secured the title on goal difference over FC Basel. In 2006–07, they won the league. In 2008 the local women's team FFC Zürich Seebach was combined with FC Zürich and started playing under the name FC Zürich Frauen in the Swiss national league. FC Zürich Frauen is 2nd in the alltime table only behind FFC Bern. In the 2007–08 season, FCZ finished in third place. In the 2008 -- 09 season, they won the league. 2009 they qualified for the first time in the club's history for the group-stage of the UEFA Champions League. In the 2010–11 season FCZ finished second; the following seasons they finished in mid-table positions. FCZ won the Swiss Cup 2014 with a 2:0 victory after extra time against FC Basel. In the 2015–16 season the club finished last, one point behind FC Lugano and was relegated to the Swiss Challenge League. Four days after the final game of the season FCZ won the Swiss Cup 2016 beating FC Lugano 1:0. In the 2016–17 season FC Zürich won the Challenge League ahead of Neuchâtel Xamax and returned after one year to the Super League.
In the 2017–2018 season they finished 4th. On 27 May 2018 they won the Swiss Cup for the tenth time, beating BSC Young Boys 2:1. Swiss Super League Winners: 1901–02, 1923–24, 1962–63, 1965–66, 1967–68, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76, 1980–81, 2005–06, 2006–07, 2008–09 Swiss Cup Winners: 1965–66, 1969–70, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1975–76, 1999–2000, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18 Swiss League Cup Winners: 1980–81 European Champions Cup Semi-finalists: 1963–64, 1976–77 Sir Thomas Lipton Trophy Fourth place: 1911 Grasshopper from Zürich, FC Basel are the main rivals of FCZ. Due to the intense rivalry, these matches are so-called high-risk fixtures, with an increased police presence in and around the stadium. Since its inception, FCZ has always had a fiery relationship with neighbouring club Grasshopper over sporting supremacy in the city. Grasshoppers are known as the club of the elite and FCZ are known as the club of the workers; this fixture is known as the only true major local derby in Swiss professional football.
Before the last round of the 2005–06 Swiss Super League, Zürich were three points behind FC Basel in the league table. The last game of the season was contested by these two clubs vying for the league title at St. Jakob Park, Basel. Alhassane Keita scored the first goal for Zürich. In the second half, Mladen Petrić equalised. FC Basel were seconds away from the title when i
Netherlands national football team
The Netherlands national football team has represented the Netherlands in international football since its initial match in 1905. The national team is controlled by the Royal Dutch Football Association, a part of UEFA, under the jurisdiction of FIFA the governing body for football in the Netherlands. Most of the Netherlands' home matches are played at the Johan Cruyff Arena and the Stadion Feijenoord; the team is colloquially referred to as Het Nederlands Elftal or the Oranje, after the House of Orange-Nassau. Like the country itself, the team is sometimes referred to as Holland; the fan club is known as the "Het Legioen". The Netherlands has competed in ten FIFA World Cups, they have appeared in nine UEFA European Championships winning the 1988 tournament in West Germany. Additionally, the team won a bronze medal at the Olympic football event in 1908, 1912 and 1920; the Netherlands has long-standing football rivalries with neighbors Germany. The Netherlands played their first international match in Antwerp against Belgium on 30 April 1905.
The players were selected by a five-member commission from the Dutch football association. After 90 minutes, the score was 1–1; because the match was for the Coupe van den Abeele it went into overtime, during which Eddy de Neve scored three times, making the score 4–1 for the Netherlands. Some historians attribute one of the goals scored to Willem Hesselink. In 1908, the Netherlands competed in their first official tournament appearance at the Summer Olympics in London, they received a bronze medal after losing to Great Britain in the semifinals, before defeating Sweden in the bronze medal match 2–0. At the Olympic Games in 1912 and 1920, the Dutch finished with the bronze medal as they lost to Denmark and Belgium in the respective tournaments; the Dutch reached the semi-finals at the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris after winning against Romania and Ireland. In the semi-final, they gave up a one-goal lead, scored by Kees Pijl, to lose 2–1 and were relegated to the third-place playoff for the fourth time, losing to Sweden in a replay.
After being eliminated in the first round at the 1928 Summer Olympics on home turf, they skipped the first World Cup in 1930 due to the cost of travel from Europe to South America. The team made their first appearance at a FIFA World Cup in 1934. Kick Smit was the first goalscorer for the Netherlands in a World Cup; the team was eliminated in the opening round by Switzerland 3–2. A second appearance at the 1938 World Cup resulted in a first-round elimination against Czechoslovakia. After the Second World War, the Dutch qualified for only two international tournaments before the 1970s; the 1948 Summer Olympics in Great Britain and the 1952 Summer Olympics in Finland. They faced early elimination losing to the hosts in 1948 and Brazil in 1952. During the 1970s, Total Football was invented, pioneered by Ajax and led by playmaker Johan Cruyff and national team head coach Rinus Michels; the Dutch made significant strides. Carlos Alberto, captain of the Brazilian team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup said, "The only team I've seen that did things differently was Holland at the 1974 World Cup in Germany.
Since everything looks more or less the same to me... Their'carousel' style of play was amazing to watch and marvelous for the game."In 1974, the Netherlands beat both Brazil and Argentina in the second group stage, reaching the final for the first time in their history. However, they lost to West Germany in the final in Munich, despite having gone up 1–0 through Johan Neeskens' early penalty kick before a German had touched the ball. However, a converted penalty by Paul Breitner and the winner from Gerd Müller, led to a victory for the Germans; the 1976 European Championship the Netherlands qualified for their first European Championship after beating Belgium in the quarterfinals. They were matched in the semifinals by Czechoslovakia who kept Cruff and Van Hanegem within arms-length of another player as they defeated the Dutch in overtime; the Dutch finished in third place after defeating the hosts in overtime. In 1978, the Netherlands qualified for the World Cup in Argentina; the team was missing Johan Cruyff due to a kidnapping attempt, Wim van Hanegem.
But the squad still had players like Jan Jongbloed, Wim Suurbier and Ruud Krol from the previous World Cup. After finishing runner-up in Group 4 behind Peru, they recorded wins against Austria and Italy to set up a final with Argentina. After a controversial start, with Argentina questioning the plaster cast on René van de Kerkhof's wrist, the match headed to extra time where the Dutch lost 3–1 after two extra time goals from Mario Kempes and Daniel Bertoni. Euro'80 was the last tournament. Despite the tournament format being expanded that year they did not advance past the group stage. Veterans such as Krol and Rensenbrink retired soon afterwards and the Dutch team hit a low point in their history: they missed the 1982 World Cup in Spain, Euro 1984 in France, the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, they failed qualifying for Euro 1984 by virtue of goals scored when Spain scored twelve in the final game against Malta. Because both teams had the same goal difference, Spain qualified having scored two more goals than the Dutch.
After qualifying for the 1986 World Cup the Dutch finished in second place and advanced to the playoffs against neighbors Belgium. After losing the first leg 1–0 in Brussels, they held a 2–0 lead at Rotterdam with a few minutes remaining, but Georges Grun's header in the 84th minute resulted in the Netherlands elimination as Belgium advanc
A concert is a live music performance in front of an audience. The performance may be by a single musician, sometimes called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, choir, or band. Concerts are held in a wide variety and size of settings, from private houses and small nightclubs, dedicated concert halls and parks to large multipurpose buildings, sports stadiums. Indoor concerts held in the largest venues are sometimes called arena concerts or amphitheatre concerts. Informal names for a concert include gig. Regardless of the venue, musicians perform on a stage. Concerts require live event support with professional audio equipment. Before recorded music, concerts provided the main opportunity to hear musicians play. While the first concerts didn’t appear until the late 17th century, similar gatherings had been around throughout the 17th century at several European universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge. Though, the first public concerts that required an admission were created by the English violinist, John Banister.
Over the next few centuries, concerts began to gain larger audiences, classical symphonies were popular. After World War 2, these events changed into the modern concerts that take place today. An example of an early, post-WW2 concert is the Moondog Coronation Ball; as stated in the general history part above, the first known occurrence of concerts where people are charged admission took place at violinist John Banister's home in Whitefriars, London in 1672. 6 years in 1678, a man by the name of Thomas Britton held weekly concerts in Clerkenwell. However, these concerts were different. Before, you had an admission that you paid upon entering the building where the concert was held but at Britton's concerts, patrons purchased a yearly subscription to come to the concerts. At 10 shillings a year, people could see as many concerts. In addition to holding concerts at certain venues, concerts went to the people. In 17th century France, concerts were performed for only the nobility. Organized by Anne Danican Philidor, the first public concerts in France, arguably the world, were the Concerts Spirituels.
These concerts were held on religious holidays when the Opera was closed and served as a model for concert societies all over the world. In the late 18th century, music from the likes of Haydn and Mozart was brought and performed in English concerts. One notable work from Haydn performed at these concerts was his set of 12 symphonies referred to as the London Symphonies. Concerts reflecting the elegance of England during the time period were held at the gardens of Vauxhall and Marylebone; the musical repertoire performed at these events ranged from works composed by young Mozart, to songs that were popular in that time period. The nature of a concert varies by musical genre, individual performers, the venue. Concerts by a small jazz combo or small bluegrass band may have the same order of program and volume—but vary in music and dress. In a similar way, a particular musician, band, or genre of music might attract concert attendees with similar dress and behavior. For example, concert goers in the 1960s had long hair and inexpensive clothing made of natural fibers.
Regular attendees to a concert venue might have a recognizable style that comprises that venue's scene. A recital is a concert by small group which follows a program, it can highlight a single performer, sometimes accompanied by piano, or a performance of the works of a single composer, or a single instrument. The invention of the solo piano recital has been attributed to Franz Liszt. A recital may have many participants, as for a dance recital. A dance recital is a presentation of choreographed moves for an audience in an established performing arts venue competitively; some dance recitals are seasonal. Some performers or groups put on elaborate and expensive shows. To create a memorable and exciting atmosphere and increase the spectacle, performers include additional entertainment devices; these can include elaborate stage lighting, electronic imagery via system and/or pre-recorded video, inflatable sets, artwork or other set pieces, various special effects such as theatrical smoke and fog and pyrotechnics, unusual costumes or wardrobe.
Some singers popular music, augment concert sound with pre-recorded accompaniment, back-up dancers, broadcast vocal tracks of the singer's own voice. Activities during these concerts can include dancing, sing-alongs, moshing. Performers known for including these elements in their performances include: Pink Floyd, The Flaming Lips, Prince, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden, Daft Punk, Lady Gaga, Jean Michel Jarre, Sarah Brightman, KISS, Gwar and Madonna. Classical concerts embody two different styles of classical music — orchestral and choral, they are performed by a plethora of different groups in concert halls or other performing art venues. For orchestra, depending on the number of performers and the instruments used, concerts include chamber music, chamber orchestra, or symphony orchestra. Chamber orchestra is a small-scale orchestra containing between ten to forty members string instruments, led by a conductor. Symphony orchestra, on the other hand, is a large-scale orchestra that can have up to eighty or more members, led by a conductor and is performed with instruments such as strings, brass instruments, percussion.
For choral style pieces, concerts include Choral music and musical theater. Each encompassing a variety of singers who are organized by a conductor or
Switzerland national football team
The Switzerland national football team is the national football team of Switzerland. The team is controlled by the Swiss Football Association. Switzerland's best performance at the FIFA World Cup are three quarter-final appearances, in 1934, 1938 and 1954, they hosted the competition in 1954, where they played with Austria in the quarter-final match, losing 7–5, which today still stands as the highest scoring World Cup match. At the 2006 FIFA World Cup, Switzerland set a FIFA World Cup record by being eliminated from the tournament despite not conceding a single goal, being eliminated by Ukraine in a penalty shootout in the round of sixteen, they didn't concede a goal until a match against Chile at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, conceding in the 75th minute. Switzerland and Austria were the co-hosts of UEFA Euro 2008, where the Swiss made their third appearance in the competition, but didn't progress from the group stage for the third time. Overall, Switzerland's best result at an official football competition was the silver medal they earned in 1924, after losing to Uruguay 3–0 in the final of the 1924 Olympic Games.
At the 1924 Paris Olympic Games, Switzerland finished with a silver medal after losing to Uruguay in the final, losing 3–0. The team's debut appearance at the World Cup was in 1934. Switzerland once again reached the quarter-finals in 1938. At the 1950 World Cup, Switzerland were drawn in a group with Brazil and Mexico, where they lost 4–0 to Yugoslavia in the opening match, drew 2–2 with Brazil in their second match and beating Mexico 2–1 in their final group mach, finished third in their group. On 22 July 1946, Switzerland was awarded the right to host the 1954 FIFA World Cup unopposed, in Luxembourg City. At the World Cup, Switzerland finished second in their group behind England, they were knocked out of the tournament after losing 7–5 to Austria. At the 1962 World Cup, Switzerland finished bottom of the group, losing all three games, losing 3–1 to Chile, 2–1 to West Germany and 3–0 to Italy. A similar results came at the 1966 World Cup, where Switzerland again finished bottom of the group and lost all three games, losing 5–0 to West Germany, 2–1 to Spain and 2–0 to Argentina.
In 1992, Switzerland appointed English manager Roy Hodgson as head coach of the national team. Under his guidance, Switzerland rose to 3rd in the FIFA World Ranking in August 1993, which still remains their highest FIFA ranking to this day. Hodgson lead Switzerland to the 1994 FIFA World Cup, losing just one game during qualifying, in a group that included Italy, much fancied Portugal and Scotland; the Swiss won their home tie with Italy, in the away game, took a 2–0 lead before being pegged back to a 2–2 draw, took four points from Scotland, winning 3–1 at home and drawing 1–1 away. Against the Portuguese, Switzerland drew 1–1 at home and lost 1–0 in the away fixture in Porto, their only defeat of the qualifying campaign, their opening match against the United States, on 18 June 1994, was played indoors. In the next match, they won 4–1 over Romania, in their final game against Colombia, lost 2–0. Switzerland still qualified from the group, but were knocked out by Spain, losing 3–0. Switzerland failed to qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, hosted in France, as they finished 4th in their qualifying group, winning three games.
At UEFA Euro 1996, Switzerland once again qualified for the tournament finals hosted in England, as they topped their qualifying group, losing just once. They were drawn in Group A, their opening match was against hosts England, the two sides drew 1–1. In their second match, they lost 2–0 to the Netherlands, in their final group game, lost 1–0 to Scotland. In qualifying for UEFA Euro 2004, Switzerland finished top of a group that featured Russia, the Republic of Ireland and Georgia; the Swiss qualified for the finals in Portugal. They began the tournament with 0–0 draw with Croatia before succumbing to a 3–0 defeat to England in the next match, they lost their final match against France. Their only goal of the entire tournament was scored by Johan Vonlanthen, who became the youngest goalscorer at the Euros when he scored the equalizing goal against France. Switzerland, along with Austria, were chosen as co-hosts of UEFA Euro 2008. Switzerland were drawn in Group A with Portugal and the Czech R
UEFA Euro 2008
The 2008 UEFA European Football Championship referred to as UEFA Euro 2008 or Euro 2008, was the 13th UEFA European Football Championship, a quadrennial football tournament contested by European nations. It took place in Austria and Switzerland from 7 to 29 June 2008; the tournament was won by Spain. Spain were only the second nation to win all their group stage fixtures and the European Championship itself - an accomplishment matched by France in 1984. Spain were the first team since Germany in 1996 to win the tournament undefeated. Greece were the defending champions going into the tournament, having won UEFA Euro 2004, they recorded the worst finish in Euro 2008, losing their three group fixtures and collecting the least amount of prize money. Throughout 31 matches, the participating nations totalled 77 goals, the same as the previous tournament. Austria and Switzerland automatically qualified as hosts; as European champions, Spain earned the right to compete for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa.
Austria and Switzerland jointly bid to host the games, facing competition from six other bids: Bosnia and Herzegovina–Croatia, Greece–Turkey, a 4-way Nordic bid, Hungary and Scotland–Republic of Ireland. Austria and Hungary had bid together to host Euro 2004, losing out to Portugal, while Sweden had hosted Euro 1992. Austria–Switzerland, Greece–Turkey and the Nordic bid were recommended, in that order, before the final vote by UEFA's National Teams Committee; the final vote by the UEFA executive committee was: Austria–Switzerland Hungary Greece–Turkey Nordic Scotland–Ireland Russia Bosnia and Herzegovina–CroatiaThe Austria–Switzerland bid became the second successful joint bid in the competition's history, following the UEFA Euro 2000 hosted by Belgium and the Netherlands. The following tournament, held in Poland and Ukraine, became the third jointly hosted tournament. Qualification for Euro 2008 started in August 2006, just over a month after the end of the 2006 FIFA World Cup; the qualifying tournament was contested by national teams from each of UEFA's member associations, with the exceptions of Austria and Switzerland, who had automatically qualified for the finals tournament as hosts and Montenegro, who came into existence too late to be admitted to UEFA.
England was the only seeded team not to qualify for the tournament proper, whereas Russia was the only unseeded one to qualify. The draw for the finals tournament took place on 2 December 2007, saw Group C labelled as the "group of death", with Italy, France and the Netherlands competing for the two qualifying places. In contrast and Portugal were deemed to have an easy draw, as the tournament structure meant they could not meet Italy, the Netherlands or Spain until the final. In the group stage, Croatia and the Netherlands all qualified with maximum points. Austria and Switzerland were not expected to progress, despite the advantage of being the hosts. In Group A, the Swiss lost their captain, Alexander Frei, to injury in their first game and became the first team to be eliminated from the tournament, after losing their first two matches. Switzerland managed to beat the group winner Portugal in their last game. In Group B, Austria managed to set up a decisive final game against Germany, dubbed "Austria's final".
However, they lost by one goal, making Euro 2008 the first European Championship not to have one of the host nations present in the knockout phase. In an exciting final game in Group A, an injury- and suspension-hit Turkey came back from 2–0 down to beat the Czech Republic 3–2, after an uncharacteristic handling mistake by Petr Čech, in the last few minutes, left Nihat Kahveci with the simplest of finishes. In the same game, goalkeeper Volkan Demirel was shown a red card for pushing Czech striker Jan Koller to the ground; the Turks joined Portugal as the qualifiers from Group A. France were the high-profile victims of Group C, recording just one point from a goalless draw against Romania in their opening game. Italy beat the French, on the final day, to finish on four points and joining the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. In Group D, Greece failed to reproduce the form of their shock 2004 win, ended the tournament with no points. Russia qualified at the expense of Sweden, after beating them in a final game decider, joining Spain in the knockout phase.
Torrential rain during the Group A match between Switzerland and Turkey on 11 June resulted in the pitch at St. Jakob-Park in Basel requiring to be re-laid; the new pitch was installed in advance of the quarter-final match between Portugal and Germany on 19 June. In the quarter-finals, the Portuguese team was unable to give their coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, a fitting send-off – following the mid-tournament announcement that Scolari would be leaving to join English club Chelsea – losing in an exciting game against Germany. Turkey continued their streak of last-gasp wins, equalising at the end of extra-time against Croatia and advancing on penalties. Coached by Dutchman Guus Hiddink, Russia eliminated the Netherlands with two extra-time goals; the last quarter-final match saw Spain defeat Italy on penalties, after a goalless draw in regular time. Turkey's progress was halted by Germany in the semi-finals. Turkey entered the game with nine of their squad members missing due to injury or suspension, but still scored the first goal.
They leveled the score at 2–2, before Germany scored the winning goal in the final minute. The world television feed of the match was intermittently lost during the match, which prevented the