The 2009 UEFA European Women's Championship will be played in Finland after the UEFA Executive Committee selected the Scandinavian nation to host the first 12-team final round at its meeting in Berlin today.
Two countries, Finland and the Netherlands, dedicated to furthering the standing of women's football submitted excellent bids, with the Football Association of Finland chosen after extensive site visits and assessments of the infrastructures needed to stage a final round of this importance. Finland hosted the 2004 UEFA European Women's Under-19 Championship, building on that experience the following season by reaching the semi-finals in Hungary.
At senior level, Finland have improved tremendously in recent campaigns under Michael Käld. The coach guided the team via a play-off victory against Russia to UEFA WOMEN'S EURO 2005™ where they surpassed expectation by defeating Denmark in their last pool match to advance to a semi-final against Germany. Although the tournament winners proved too strong at that level, Käld took plenty of positives from the defeat, calling their showing a "great success". Finland also remain in contention for the 2007 FIFA World Cup, and will advance to China if they take four points from Denmark in their final two matches.
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