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The Euro 2016 football tournament kicks off this week in France, putting the country firmly in the spotlight. Matches are to be played in ten different stadiums across the country for the next month. The final will be held in Paris at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis on 10th July.

Even if you don’t have tickets for a game, the football centres will be buzzing and, if you’re in France, you can follow matches along with the locals in bars and cafes, soaking up the atmosphere and excitement. It might pay to learn some of the more polite French football terms and the names of the country’s star players so you can really join in. The UEFA website (link below) even has a guide to the correct pronunciation of players' names!

For the first round, France is in group A, England and Wales in group B, Northern Ireland in group C and Republic of Ireland in group E, so France will not be meeting any of the UK or Irish teams, but after that anything could happen.

As a reminder, the countries that have qualified are: France (as hosts), England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Italy, Spain, Germany,Czech Republic, Belgium, Slovakia, Poland, Switzerland, Romania,  Austria, Russia, Croatia, Portugal, Albania, Iceland, Ukraine, Turkey, Republic of Ireland, Sweden.

The venues for matches will be:
Parc des Princes, Paris
Stade de France, Saint-Denis
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Stade des Lumières, Lyon
Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Lille
Matmut Atlantique, Bordeaux
Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
Stade Bollaert-Delelis, Lens
Allianz Riviera, Nice
Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, Saint-Étienne

Fixture dates are:
Group stage: 10-22 June
Round-of-16: 25-27 June
Quarter-finals: 30 June-3 July
Semi-finals: 6-7 July
Final: 10 July

For more details, check out the UEFA Euro 16 website and for accommodation in France, browse our holiday properties.