The 1996 UEFA
European Football Championship, commonly referred to as Euro 96, was the 10th UEFA
European Championship, a quadrennial football tournament contested by European nations and organized by UEFA. It took place in England from 8 to 30 June 1996. It was the first European Championship to feature 16 finalists, following UEFA's decision to expand the tournament from eight teams.
Matches were staged in eight cities and, although not all games were sold out, the tournament holds the European Championship's second-highest aggregate attendance (1,276,000) and average per game (41,158) for the 16-team format, surpassed only in 2012. These numbers were based on official attendances, which reflected the number of tickets sold, not the number of spectators in the ground; which was a significantly lower amount. The large number of empty seats in most of the games not involving England was blamed on a number of factors: a lack of travelling fans from most of the other nations concerned, a lack of interest among locals for games not involving England, kick-offs before 17:00 that made it hard for children at school and adults at work to attend, steep ticket prices and UEFA's ticket sales policy of only selling tickets in blocks (each block consisting of a set from each of the three price bands).
The tournament was the first European Championship where three points were awarded for a win during the qualification and finals group stages, as opposed to the old system of two points for a win, reflecting the growing use of this system in domestic leagues throughout the world during the previous decade.Germany
won the tournament, beating the Czech Republic 2-1 in the final with a golden goal during extra time; this was the first major competition to be decided using this method. This was also Germany's first major title won as a unified nation, adding to the two European Championship titles won by West Germany
prior to reunification.