In the Euro 2012 group stage, we've seen an awful lot of ties (usually: 1:1) so far, which begs the question: What are the tie-breaker rules in case two or more teams in the same group are tied for points at the end of the group stage?

A quick look at the competition rules, section 8.07 shows (emphasis mine):

If two or more teams are equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following criteria are applied, in the order given; to determine the rankings: a) higher number of points obtained in the matches among the teams in question; b) superior goal difference in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points); c) higher number of goals scored in the matches among the teams in question (if more than two teams finish equal on points); d) superior goal difference in all the group matches; e) higher number of goals scored in all the group matches; f) position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system (see Annex I, paragraph 1.2.2); g) fair play conduct of the teams (final tournament); h) drawing of lots.

Compare this to the 2010 FIFA world-cup tie-breaker rules and you'll see that they are quite different: The FIFA puts the overall team performance in the group stage first, while the UEFA cares more about how the teams in question compare with each other. That means that two teams can be tied for points, and the one with a much higher goal difference can still draw the shorter straw if they lost the match against the other team in question.

Also, I applaud the UEFA's choice to consider fair-play conduct as part of their tie-breaking rules, though putting it behind the "team coefficient ranking system" makes it look not too sincere. After all, the current rankings don't show a single pair of teams with the same coefficient, so the fair play rule would never apply. Likewise, to cynics, the UEFA rules might convey the message: "If you're ranked high enough, you don't need to care about fair play."

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John Cleese, of Monty Python fame, explains the difference between Soccer and (American) Football:

Very funny!

Thanks to several people who have pointed this video out lately!

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Baffs
Ich bin nicht sicher, ob es das schon einmal gegeben hat, aber dass man ein Fußball-Länderspiel live im Internet sehen kann, finde ich prima. schreibt:

Das Länderspiel zwischen China und Deutschland wird heute live im Ersten und bei zu sehen sein. Der Videostream startet um 14 Uhr und ist aus rechtlichen Gründen nur von Rechnern in Deutschland zu empfangen. Nach dem Spiel stellt die Höhepunkte als Video on demand zur Verfügung. Diese Videos sind territorial nicht eingeschränkt.

Die Einschränkung auf "nur Deutschland" ist natürlich ein wenig bedauerlich, vor allem für fußballinteressierte Auslandsdeutsche, aber das ist ja international keine Seltenheit.

Trotzdem: Fußball-Länderspiel als Livestream, die in Büros arbeitende Bevölkerung wird es Ihnen danken, liebe ARD.

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Yay! Apparently, the Euro 2008 soccer games are going to be broadcast on ESPN. Lucky me that I just moved into my new place that comes with a full cable package :) Phew!

Looks like I now have an important appointment today at 2:30pm!

Update: Jean Pierre mentioned that actually also offers a live stream of the Euro 2008 soccer games on the web. Awesome! So far I haven't been able to try out if it works in the US too though, as my internet connection is not quite strong here.

Update 2: Well hello, there's a live stream for the US too on (Thanks for the link, Tim!) And it even seems to have quite a bit more games on it than the German stream which only covers Germany's games. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll check it out!

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