Euro 2012 Opening Ceremony

Euro 2012 Opening Ceremony

IT Fri, Jun 8
 

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  • 15:05
    Good afternoon and welcome to the irishtimes.com liveblog on the Euro 2012 opening ceremony. The first match kicks off in two hours time when co-host Poland take on Greece in Warsaw. That will be followed by Russia against Greece in Wroclaw at 7.45pm.

    We'll have the most up-to-date coverage from Euro 2012 in both print and online. Follow @emmetmalone and @carlomalley on Twitter for news from the training camp, stay with irishtimes.com for news, liveblogs and more and check out the Irish Times newspaper for the best analysis from all the games in Poland and Ukraine and for Frank McNally's Euro2012 Road Trip.

    For more see www.irishtimes.com/sports/euro2012
  • 15:07
    It's been a long time coming but Ireland are going to be taking part in the European Championships for the first time since 1988.

    Up to 20,000 fans are expected to travel to this year's tournament with most heading out today ahead of Sunday's clash with Croatia in Poznan.

    As in 1988, fans are using every possible means to get to the matches with camper vans, motor bikes and bicycles among the transport options being used.
  • 15:10
    You have registered your team for the Irish Times Euro 2012 Fantasy Football competition haven't you? It's free to enter and there are loads of amazing prizes to be won, including €6,000 in cash.

    Only teams registered before 5pm Irish Time this evening will score points for the first game of the competition - Poland v Greece.

    For more see http://irishtimes.fantasyleague.com
  • 15:21
    Are you on your way to Euro2012? Send us your pics, videos and comments to news@irishtimes.com or Tweet us @IrishTimes
  • 15:23
    We have a number of our reporters out at Euro 2012 including Carl O'Mally (@carlomalley) who is currently with the Irish squad in Gdynia.

    The good news from Carl is that Republic of Ireland keeper Shay Givens took part in training today, having been troubled by a variety of niggles, from a calf strain, to a knee injury and even blisters. Read Carl's full report here: http://www.irishtimes.com/sports/soccer/2012/0608/1224317530168.html
  • 15:26
    Here's our roving reporter Carl (in red) at this morning's Republic of Ireland press conference
    Here's our roving reporter Carl (in red) at this morning's Republic of Ireland press conference
  • 15:29
    In less pleasing news Croatia coach Slaven Bilic has confirmed that former Tottenham defender Vedran Corluka is fit to face Ireland on Sunday. (Boo! Hiss!)
  • 15:30
  • 15:36
    And this is without doubt the best photo of fans departing you'll see today. Photograph: Gerard Nolan (@gez_kez)
    And this is without doubt the best photo of fans departing you'll see today. Photograph: Gerard Nolan (@gez_kez)
  • 15:38
    One football fan nearly ended up having a miserable Euro 2012 when it emerged that he'd left three match tickets behind at a shop in Dublin Airport this morning. Thankfully, Damian Coughlan is to be reunited with his tickets after a relative contacted airport police following an appeal made via Twitter.
  • 15:45
    Irish Times journalist Frank McNally is just one of 1000s of fans making the journey to Euro2012. Follow his road trip here: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0606/1224317369020.html

    And here http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0608/1224317501811.html
  • 15:55
    Worth pointing out that only 4 out of 15 countries that have been European Championship hosts have won their first match in the tournament. Those teams if you're interested are Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands.
  • 16:02
    As everyone knows Ireland and Croatia are set to meet on Sunday in the first of the Group C clashes. The teams have met six times since 1996 - a run of matches which ended with 2 wins for Ireland, one for Croatia and three draws. Football website Greenscene has a great summary of how those matches went here: http://greenscene.me/2012/06/ireland-v-croatia-match-history-2/
  • 16:04
    Less than one hour left till Euro 2012 begins!
  • 16:06
    We'll be offering coverage of all 31 Euro 2012 games so be sure to stay with irishtimes.com for the tournament
  • 16:08
    For those travelling this evening you'll be glad to hear that Iarnrod Éireann is marking the start of Euro 2012 by giving away free treats at Heuston station this evening. The CIE male voice choir will also be on hand to serenade commuters as they make their way home
  • 16:09
    Ronnie Whelan has just said he reckons France are the team to watch in this year's tournament.. what do you think?
  • 16:13
    Here's a great map from @thomsonreuters which shows the camp locations for all the matches
    Here's a great map from @thomsonreuters which shows the camp locations for all the matches
  • 16:17
  • 16:29
    The RTÉ panel are currently arguing about Italy's chances given the match-fixing investigation. Liam Brady says the team lack quality and he doesn't expect them to make it out of Group C.
  • 16:32
    Thousands of Irish emigrants will watch the national team play Croatia on Sunday no matter what time it is in their part of the world. Ciara Kenny talked to some of them for our 'Generation Emigration' series. Read her report here: http://iti.ms/MsF9ez
  • 16:42
    With just 15 minutes to go the TV cameras are finally showing the stadium in Warsaw...
  • 16:43
    We're now in the stadium and as often happens there's a lot of coordinated dancing going on which looks pretty but doesn't really make any sense to anyone...
  • 16:45
    And now we've got a Chopin tribute going on...
  • 16:48
    Polish fans awaiting the start of the opening match of Euro 2012 in the National Stadium in Warsaw. Photograph: Reuters
    Polish fans awaiting the start of the opening match of Euro 2012 in the National Stadium in Warsaw. Photograph: Reuters
  • 16:49
    And the old 'all the humans dance until they become a great big football' dance move is completed...
  • 16:51
    The dancing is over...the fans look as though they're warmed up and ready to go now. Quite a few Greeks have made it for the opening match but they are completely outnumbered by the Polish fans
  • 16:54
    The teams are lining up ready to walk out on to the pitch. We're nearly there...
  • 16:55
    The noise levels are deafening as the teams head out on to what looks like a beautifully manicured pitch...
  • 16:57
    The teams seen just before they head out on to the pitch
    The teams seen just before they head out on to the pitch
  • 16:59
    Here's the teams for the opening match:

    Poland: 1-Wojciech Szczesny; 20-Lukasz Piszczek, 13-Marcin Wasilewski, 15-Damien Perquis, 2-Sebastian Boenisch; 16-Jakub Blaszczykowski, 7-Eugen Polanski, 11-Rafal Murawski, 8-Maciej Rybus; 10-Ludovic Obraniak; 9-Robert Lewandowski

    Greece: 1-Kostas Chalkias; 15-Vasilis Torosidis, 8-Avraam Papadopoulos, 19-Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 20-Jose Holebas; 2-Giannis Maniatis, 21-Kostas Katsouranis, 10-Giorgos Karagounis; 18-Sotiris Ninis, 17-Fanis Gekas, 7-Giorgos Samaras

    Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo (Spain)
  • 17:00
    And we're off! Follow the opening game between Poland and Greece via irishtimes.com here - http://iti.ms/MsK1QM