If the Eurovision Song Contest can be considered to be Europe's biggest musical party, Euro 2016 may well be Europe's sporting equivalent. The tournament, held every four years, kicks off in Paris on 10th June and will see Amir, who finished in 6th place in the Eurovision Song Contest, take to the stage in what promises to be a spectacular opening ceremony. Delve a little deeper and you'll find that football championships and the Eurovision Song Contest have more in common than first meets the eye.
Over the coming weeks, 24 national teams from around Europe will compete in the UEFA European Championship which will be held in France from 10th June to 10th July. 20 out of the 24 participating countries were represented in the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest. The UEFA European Championship and the Eurovision Song Contest are both large-scale international events, encouraging friendly competition between countries. Both have increasingly elaborate opening sequences and both get Europe talking! However Amir's performance during the Opening Ceremony is not the first time that the worlds of Eurovision and sport have collided.
Eurovision Song Contest songs have been used as football anthems in the past. Jessy Matador's Allez Ola Olé, which finished 12th in 2010, became a football and summer hit after the contest. LT United, who represented Lithuania at the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, adapted their entry We Are The Winners for the World Cup held that year. Gaitana's Be My Guest, the Ukrainian entry in 2012, which was played regularly in Ukraine's stadiums when the country hosted Euro 2012. Sweden's 2016 representative Frans originally became famous following his tribute to footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic in 2006. Check out the video below!
The EBU has acquired, on behalf of its Members, exclusive media rights for UEFA EURO 2016™ in 26 countries across Europe. Another group of approximately 20 EBU Members have also agreed exclusive media rights deals directly with UEFA. This means that audiences throughout the continent will be able to enjoy free, comprehensive coverage of the Championships.
The Opening Ceremony of Euro 2016 will be broadcast at 20:00 CEST Friday 10th June.
Which Eurovision Song Contest entry from 2016 do you think will become a sporting anthem in the future?