Where would England place if Euro 2016 was based on health statistics?

Sunderland's Jordan Henderson is part of the squad heading to Euro 2016 tournament
Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson is part of the squad heading to Euro 2016 tournament. Picture by: Martin Rickett / PA Wire/Press Association Images

England’s squad for Euro 2016 was announced yesterday (Tuesday, May 31) – but where would England place if the tournament was based on health statistics?

Research by Durham University concluded that the Three Lions would get knocked out in the quarter finals of Euro 2016 if health figures were a criteria for success – and not football matches won.

The study, conducted by Clare Bambra, professor of public health geography and director of the centre for health and inequalities research, used the male life expectancy of the teams that have qualified for Euro 2016 and then ranked them to get the final result.

Elsewhere in the UK, Northern Ireland and Wales, would falter at the last 16 stage.

In the EU, Switzerland, with a life expectancy for men of 81, would narrowly win the final if health figures were the criteria for success.

The Swiss and Iceland would be tied as they both have an average life expectancy of 81 for males, but Ms Bambra found Switzerland would win because of a higher life expectancy for women.

Prof Bambra said: “What this analysis shows is that where you live can kill you but what is more important is that places can be changed for the better through the decisions made at local, regional and national level within countries.”

But, according to the research, England would would be winners of their group as they have a male life expectancy of 79 years.

They would beat Russia who have a male life expectancy of 63 years, Slovakia, with a male life expectancy of 72 years and Wales who’s male life expectancy is 78 years.

The research aimed to show that governments across Europe should learn from each other and share best practice to narrow the differences in health scores.

The scores also reveal a clear east-west gap with worse health in eastern European countries compared to those in the west.

Prof Bambra added: “I hope that by using football we can help to highlight these unacceptable differences in health, between European countries as well as those within them.”

The professor of public health geography has also worked on a similar study of ranking Premier League teams by their local health scores to show how where people live affects their life expectancy.

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