The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship referred to as UEFA Euro 2012 or Euro 2012, was the 14th European Championship for men's national football teams organised by UEFA. The final tournament, held between 8 June and 1 July 2012, was co-hosted for the first time by Poland and Ukraine, was won by Spain, who beat Italy 4–0 in the final at the Olympic Stadium, Ukraine. Poland and Ukraine's bid was chosen by UEFA's Executive Committee on 18 April 2007; the two host teams qualified automatically while the remaining 14 finalists were decided through a qualifying competition, featuring 51 teams, from August 2010 to November 2011. This was the last European Championship to employ the 16-team finals format in use since 1996. Euro 2012 was played at four in each host country. Five new stadiums were built for the tournament, the hosts invested in improving infrastructure such as railways and roads at UEFA's request. Euro 2012 set attendance records for the 16-team format, for the highest aggregate attendance and average per game.
Spain became the first team to win two consecutive European Championships, three straight major tournaments. Spain had gained entry to the 2013 Confederations Cup by winning the World Cup, so runners-up Italy qualified instead; as at Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland, both 2012 host nations were eliminated in the group stage. The hosting of the event was contested by five bids representing seven countries: Croatia–Hungary, Italy, Poland–Ukraine, Turkey. In November 2005, after an initial consideration of the bid data by UEFA, both the Greek and Turkish bids were eliminated from the process, to leave three candidates. In May 2006, this was followed by a second round of the selection process, which included visits by UEFA to all candidates; the final decision was due to be announced on 8 December 2006 in Nyon, but this was postponed to "give bidding associations more time for the fine-tuning of their bids". On 18 April 2007, the Poland–Ukraine bid was chosen by a vote of the UEFA Executive Committee, at a meeting in Cardiff.
Poland–Ukraine became the third successful joint bid for the European Championship, after those of Belgium–Netherlands and Austria–Switzerland. Their bid received an absolute majority of votes, was therefore announced the winner, without requiring a second round. Italy, which received the remaining votes, had been considered favourites to win the hosting, but incidents of fan violence and a match-fixing scandal were cited as factors behind their failure. There were some alterations from the initial bid plan, regarding the venues, before UEFA confirmed the eight host cities in 2009. During the preparation process in Poland and Ukraine, UEFA expressed concern about their preparation to host the event, with different candidates reported as being alternative hosts if they did not improve; the draw for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying competition took place in Warsaw on 7 February 2010. Fifty-one teams entered to compete for the fourteen remaining places in the finals, alongside co-hosts Poland and Ukraine.
The teams were divided into nine groups, with the draw using the new UEFA national team coefficient for the first time in order to determine the seedings. As defending champions, Spain was automatically top seeded; the qualifying process began in August 2010 and concluded in November 2011. At the conclusion of the qualifying group stage in October 2011, the nine group winners qualified automatically, along with the highest ranked second placed team; the remaining eight-second placed teams contested two-legged play-offs, the four winners qualified for the finals. Twelve of the sixteen finalists participated at the previous tournament in 2008. England and Denmark made their return to the Euro, having last participated in 2004, while Republic of Ireland returned after a twenty-four-year absence to make their second appearance at a European Championship. One of the co-hosts, made their debut as an independent nation. With the exception of Serbia – according to UEFA's ranking at the end of the qualifying stage – Europe's sixteen highest-ranked teams all qualified for the tournament.
The following sixteen teams qualified for the finals: The draw for the final tournament took place on 2 December 2011 at the Ukraine Palace of Arts in Kiev, Ukraine. The hour-long ceremony was hosted by Olha Freimut and Piotr Sobczyński, television presenters from the two host countries; as was the case for the 2004 and 2008 finals, the sixteen finalists were divided into four seeding pots, using the UEFA national team coefficient ranking. The pot allocations were based on the UEFA national team coefficient rankings of the sixteen finalists at the end of the qualifying competition in November 2011; each nation's coefficient was generated by calculating: 40% of the average ranking points per game earned in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying stage. 40% of the average ranking points per game earned in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying stage and final tournament. 20% of the average ranking points per game earned in the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying stage and final tournament. Aside from the coefficient, three teams were automatically placed in Pot 1.
Ukraine and Poland were both assigned to Pot 1 as the two host nations, despite the fact that their rankings were the two lowest in the tournament. As defending champions, Spain were automatically assigned to Pot 1, though their UEFA ranking at the time
Spassk-Dalny Airfield known in the US intelligence community as Spassk-Dalniy East, was a Soviet Air Force base in Primorsky Krai, Russia located 6 km northeast of Spassk-Dalny, Russia. Spassk-Dalny was a Soviet Air Defence Forces interceptor airfield for defending against Western aircraft, with the 821st Fighter Aviation Regiment based here. However, the 219th Long-Range Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment of the 30th Air Army, Long Range Aviation was a tenant during the 1950s and 1960s, operating Tupolev Tu-16 Badger aircraft for intelligence operations around east Asia. In the late 1940s the airfield was populated by the 51st Brigades of the 27th Air Division. In the early 1960s Sukhoi Su-7 and Su-9 were based here. A 1966 satellite overflight spotted 21 Tu-16 Badger, 18 Su-7 Fitter, 21 Yak-28 Firebar, 2 MiG-15 Fagot at this airfield; the CIA in 1969 identified the Firebar aircraft as the nearest potential threat to SR-71 operations over North Korea. The base's role diminished in the 1970s with the deployment of advanced MiG-25 Foxbat aircraft at Chuguyevka 60 miles to the southeast.
In 1985 the CIA reported that Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23P and the training variant MiG-23U were crated at Spassk-Dalny and sent to Cam Ranh Base in Vietnam. Google Earth imagery in 2005 showed the airfield was abandoned and by the 2010s that the airfield was being torn up for reclamation of concrete
Robbie O'Davis is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer who played in the 1990s and 2000s. An Australian international and Queensland State of Origin representative fullback and occasional winger, he played his entire club career with the Newcastle Knights, winning the 1997 and 2001 Premierships with them. O'Davis was born in Australia, he grew up in Queensland. At 16 he played senior rugby league alongside his father. After playing in the Brisbane Rugby League Premiership for Eastern Suburbs, he joined the New South Wales Rugby League Premiership with the Newcastle Knights. With the start of the Super League war in 1995 and the Australian Rugby League's stance on not selecting Super League aligned players, O'Davis made his State of Origin debut for Queensland in their surprise 3-0 series win over New South Wales, he was selected for Australia in the first test of the 1995 Trans-Tasman Test series against New Zealand at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. After missing the second test win in Sydney, O'Davis made his run on debut for the Kangaroos in the final test in Brisbane, scoring his first test try in the home sides 46-10 win which completed a 3-0 series win.
Following the 1995 ARL season, O'Davis was selected for Australia's World Cup squad. He played in three games during the World Cup, scoring 5 tries. After playing from the bench in the extra-time Semi-final win over New Zealand, he was selected for the Final at the famous Wembley Stadium, but didn't get off the bench in Australia's 16-8 win over England, he won the Clive Churchill Medal for best player in the 1997 ARL season's Grand Final over hot favourites and defending premiers Manly-Warringah. However the following year, he and Newcastle team mate Wayne Richards tested positive for Anabolic steroids and received maximum 22-match bans, while another team mate Adam MacDougall received an 11-week suspension. O'Davis played for Newcastle at fullback in their 2001 NRL Grand Final victory over the Parramatta Eels. Having won the 2001 NRL Premiership, the Knights travelled to England to play the 2002 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, the Bradford Bulls. O'Davis played at fullback in Newcastle's loss.