Qualifying for the Olympics - Soccer

In June 2007, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) organised a European Championship for the under 21 age category. The tournament for the soccer stars of the future was held in the Netherlands from the 10th to the 23rd of June, 2007.

The top four teams from the European Championship qualify for the Olympic Games 2008 in Beijing. The qualifying matches for this tournament were fiercely fought over as the players not only wanted to show they were the best in Europe but also gain a place at the Olympics next year. The teams that did not qualify, and therefore had no way of reaching the Olympics 2008, were Sweden, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Russia, Germany, Spain, Bulgaria and France.

The countries that made it through to the European Championship were Belgium, Czech Republic, England, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Serbia and the Netherlands. The Netherlands automatically qualified for the European Championship because they were the previous champions and were also hosts of the tournament.

The Netherlands went onto win the tournament defeating Serbia in the final 4-1. The four teams that qualify for the Olympics are The Netherlands, Serbia, Belgium and Italy.

Source: www.uefa.com, www.vi.nl and www.knvb.nl

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