Tag Archives: England

UEFA Euro Championships 2012: The Changing Nations of a Continent

UEFA Euros 2012 are in Poland & Ukraine this year (Courtesy of Katie@! via Flickr)

As the European Championships for 2012 have finally gotten underway this past week, I can finally stop reading about past tournaments and start focusing on the one at present. However, researching some of the past winners and losers of the tournament since its inception in 1960 has been rather telling of the way Europe has grown to be “inclusive” of so many nations, including those such as Azerbaijan, Israel, and even Kazakhstan which are not even located on the tradition view of the physical continent.

Take a look at this blog post from oh you beauty. It illustrates the past tournaments from 1960 onward when it featured only four teams in the finals to today’s edition, which features 16 teams. (24 teams will be participating in 2016 in France) In the early years, the tournament featured 17 qualifying teams, and by 1964, 29 teams wanted to participate with two more in 1968. The tournament would continue to grow in popularity as more and more nations wanted to participate, particularly those in the Eastern half and smaller nations in the West.

Come 1980, the tournament made its first expansion to 8 teams in the final, coinciding with the growing number of nations in the European Union from its expansion in 1973 and the approval to allow Greece, Spain, and Portugal during the early 80’s. Europe was increasingly less Western-centric and moving to include all nations at this point.

It wasn’t until 1996 that the finals of the tournament would include 16 teams. For nearly two decades, the number of qualifying nations remained relatively stagnant (around 30-35). When the Soviet Union dissolved, 13 nations would form their own soccer unions, and anticipating this, the tournament increased its size once more.

Since then, 16 teams in the final has been the norm, and only 6 new teams have been eligible for qualifying as of 2012, most of them as newly formed nations in the Balkans, but some, like Kazakhstan, as new UEFA members switching to the organization from Asia.

It has been interesting to following the growth and expansion of Europe from the Soviet Union Era to the height of the European Union era, and correlating those moments with the growth of Europe’s most anticipated sporting event. UEFA officials have already made a big step by staging the tournament in Poland & Ukraine for the first time. Perhaps with the additional amount of qualifying nations next tournament, we may see the orbit of ‘Europe’ push farther into Central Asia or even the Middle East.

Gender Inequality in the Arts & Culture Field. Where are the men?

I was rummaging around the blogosphere this morning and came across this article published on the UK’s Guardian website. While a lot of attention has been focused on women and minorities in the workplace and the various efforts to promote/recruit them, there are industries where men are outnumbered and gender inequality persists in this sense. For example, as you will read below, the Arts/Culture industry is heavily populated by women in the UK at least. The author, Steve Messam, points this out with his experiences in the board room and at private meetings where he is noticeably the only male in the room, or one of few. So, for those reading the blog: what have you noticed? Do you work in the Arts/Culture business and have similar experiences? Please let me know in the comments below and I will do my best to get back to you.

Article by Steve Messam can be found here via the Guardian’s website:

Thanks to Steve Messam for sharing his insight into the arts world. Check out his blog here.

Diversity and Inclusion Training Continue at the Olympic Games in London for 2012

I’ve been reading a lot about some of the diversity and inclusion training efforts going on at the Olympic games and the press (some good, some bad) that is associated with it. I am glad it is getting done, as the olympics are the prime stage for the world to celebrate its diverse heritage. That being said, the Telegraph published this story about some of the questions being proposed to the volunteers in order for them to better address the guests and athletes that will be coming from around the world to London this summer. While some have found it patronizing, such as in this article, I think in the end that many of the volunteers will remember this time when these questions do pop up, and will be better equipped to handle them. Here is the article from the Telegraph this morning below:

Click here for the original article. If you are interested in seeing some of the questions being proposed to the volunteers, click here.