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Introduction

Introduction
Technical report

Introduction

The 12th UEFA European Under-19 Championship final round was the first to be staged in Lithuania, who were awarded the tournament by the UEFA Executive Committee in October 2010.

Eight teams took part in the event – hosts Lithuania being joined by France, Georgia, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Serbia and Turkey. The qualifying round was held between 26 September and 26 November 2012, while the elite round unfolded between 22 May and 11 June 2013. Four countries – France, Portugal, Serbia and Spain – had participated in the 2012 finals in Estonia, with Spain winning the title for the second successive year.

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The Alytus Stadium

Matches were played at three well-appointed venues – the S Darius & S Girėnas Stadium in Kaunas and the Alytus Stadium in Alytus each staged four group matches and a semi-final, while the Marijampolé Football Club Stadium in Marijampole played host to four group games and the final. Two hotels in Kaunas accommodated four teams apiece, which enabled exchanges and contact between players from different cultures. The grounds in Alytus and Marijampole were ideally located around an hour from the UEFA tournament headquarters in Kaunas.

Six of the competing countries had featured in previous U19 tournaments, while Georgia and host association Lithuania were involved for the first time. Spain came into the final round with an impressive record, having lifted the trophy six times since 2002, while France were looking to take the title for the third time after successes in 2005 and 2010.

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Fans turned out in force for the finals

Six referees, eight assistant referees and two fourth officials from the host nation were chosen as match officials for the championship – thereby gaining invaluable experience for their future careers. As part of UEFA's educational drive, sessions highlighting the risks of doping and match-fixing warned the young players of career-threatening dangers. Across Europe, football enthusiasts were able to follow the action through Eurosport's comprehensive televised coverage.

The finals were very well-organised – the Lithuanian Football Federation (LFF) and local communities received widespread praise from the teams for their work and the warmth of their welcomes. Lithuania's matches attracted good crowds – 8,900 against Spain, 8,075 against Portugal and 7,436 against the Netherlands – and the overall tournament attendance surpassed the hosts' target of bringing 50,000 spectators through the gates. In fact, the 15 fixtures were watched by 56,169 fans at an average of 3,745 a game. The final in Marijampole between France and Serbia was witnessed by 6,211 while the Spain-France and Serbia-Portugal semi-finals drew crowds of 4,436 and 3,280 in Kaunas and Alytus respectively.

http://www.uefa.com/under19/season=2013/technical-report/index.html#introduction

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