The UEFA Executive Committee continues its first meeting of 2014 at the House of European Football in Nyon on Friday, with UEFA EURO 2016 the key item on the agenda.
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The draw for the qualifying competition will be made at the Palais des Congrès Acropolis in Nice, France, on Sunday 23 February (12.00CET). The event will mark the first step in a new era for the competition, as well as an important milestone along the road to the final tournament. The Executive Committee, chaired by UEFA President Michel Platini, will confirm the qualifying draw procedure.
In addition, the Executive Committee will discuss the match schedule for the UEFA EURO 2016 finals between 10 June and 10 July 2016. Ten venues in France – Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse – will stage games, with the Stade de France in Saint-Denis hosting the final. For the first time, 24 teams will participate in a EURO final round.
There will be an update on the European Qualifiers concept. In particular, the media rights for the UEFA European Championship qualifying matches have been centralised, with the aim that the national associations can make more money from their qualifying games, and ensure stable revenues from the qualifying phase, as revenues will be disconnected from the draw results. The move is also expected to reinforce the identity of the competition, creating genuine 'national-team nights'.
The qualifying programme has been amended to make sure that fans have the chance to watch more matches live than ever before on the road to France. The new Week of Football concept will see games played from Thursday to Tuesday. Kick-off times will be set mainly at 18.00CET and 20.45CET on Saturdays and Sundays and at 20.45CET for Thursdays, Fridays, Mondays and Tuesdays. On double-header matchweeks, teams will play on Thursday/Sunday, Friday/Monday or Saturday/Tuesday.
The Executive Committee approved the UEFA EURO 2016 regulations at its meeting in Bilbao, Spain, in December. The competition slogan – Le Rendez-Vous – was unveiled last October, while the logo was launched in June.
The meeting will be followed by a press conference from 12.00CET on Friday, attended by Michel Platini, UEFA General Secretary Gianni Infantino and EURO 2016 SAS president Jacques Lambert.
The next meeting of the Executive Committee is scheduled for Astana, Kazakhstan, on 25/26 March, prior to the XXXVIII UEFA Congress in Astana on 27 March.