Envoys start Euro 2012

England and Spain kick off in the final of the Diplo Euro 2012

The Spanish Embassy team was crowned the champions of the Diplomatic Euro 2012 Tournament, beating the Foreign Office team (representing England) on penalties in a thrilling final.

Following in the world-beating tradition of their national side, the Spanish team came from behind to snatch victory from the well-organised FCO team, by equalising in the dying seconds of the game.

England, following the example of their national side, lost their nerve and missed a crucial penalty, handing victory to their Spanish opponents.

The tournament and fun-filled family day was organised at the Paddington Recreation Centre by the embassies of Poland and Ukraine, co-hosts of the Euro 2012 competition, which kicks off on 8 June.

Twelve teams took part, including hosts Poland and Ukraine, as well as the Czech Republic (the only team to field a female player), Italy, Denmark, Spain, Lithuania, Portugal, Russia, Ireland, an Austro-Swiss team and the FCO.

The hosts Poland and Ukraine were knocked out in the quarter finals which is where Portugal and hot favourites Russia’s hopes ended too.

Spain went on to fend off a strong Italian side in the semi-finals, while England (FCO) had a tough game against a very competitive Lithuanian side, which came third.

Watching intently from the sidelines was Dynamo Kyiv legend Sergiy Baltacha who awarded the Player of the Series trophy to Italian striker Antonio Pascarella, a carabinieri at the Italian Embassy.

Joining flag-waving fans on the sidelines were the Ambassadors of Poland and Ukraine and guest of honour, Simon Hughes, the deputy leader of the Lib Dems.

The Polish Embassy laid on a traditional Polish picnic and face painting for the children, while the Embassy of Ukraine gave away two flights to Kyiv as the top prize in an exciting raffle.

To view the photographs of this event please click here.