Sport on the Internet

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The Independent Online
QUALIFICATION FOR Euro 2000 is a straightforward affair - win enough games (scoring six in a game is fine) and you are laughing. The Websites covering the competition tend to be straightforward, too. Happy England supporters could log on after Saturday's win against Luxembourg, and there is plenty for them to read about before Wednesday's game against Poland.

Uefa's Euro 2000 site allows easy access to match facts and has plenty of visual appeal, with photographs from Reuters and Empics. The home page contains the latest stories from each of the qualifying groups, although many of them are fairly old news - last week the second lead story for group one was Mark Hughes being put in charge of Wales for two qualifiers. The news pages are much more up to date with illustrated and informative match reports.

Results and standings can be called up on a group by group basis. The Statistics section, which goes back to the 1960 European Championship, includes match results and links to match reports. If the opportunity of revelling in past glories and near misses appeals, the Replay section has links to archives - the Euro 96 headlines follow the drift of "England reign supreme" in the early group matches to "England dream shattered" in the semi-final.

Background on the format of the current championships is given, and information on each of the 51 teams entered is listed. I think. However, every time I tried to access the England team I got a page decorated with Microsoft OLE DB errors - par for the course with pages constructed in Microsoft FrontPage in my experience.

Sports.com's Euro 2000 site covers similar territory, with live scores, chat rooms and plenty of merchandise opportunities. This section has the same look and feel as their general football site, but the navigation frames that are re-used can be confusing. The Fast Facts section, with links to stats, photo galleries etc, has nothing to do with the championship and refers to domestic leagues instead.

Much more useful is its links to its own Tips section. Here are listed not only the latest odds for forthcoming games, but also updated news of who is injured and who is on the road to recovery, which can be useful before surfing off to an online betting site.

The Beautiful Game site does not offer any unique content, but it can be useful if other sites are busy and a quick visit for specific information or news is required.

The Unofficial England Football Home Page has up to date group tables and no error messages when it comes to digging out information about the England team and players with photo galleries and biographies.

Often the most informative and entertaining channel on the Internet is good old e-mail. The Euro 2000 Mailing List site gives full instructions on how to join their mailing list - a forum for sensible discussion and/or an opportunity to vent spleen and indulge in serious wind-ups.

Site Addresses

Uefa Euro 2000

http://www.uefa.com/EURO2000/index.asp

Sports.com Euro 2000

http://football.sports.com/euro2000/index.html

The Beautiful Game - Euro 2000

http://the-eye.com/euro2000.htm

Unofficial England Football Home Page

http://www.englandfc.com/index.html

Euro 2000 Mailing List

http://www.isfa.com/isfa/lists/euro2000/

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