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SBD Global/April 25, 2014/International Football

Glasgow Launches Bid To Be Among 13 Host Cities For Euro 2020

Glasgow's Hampden Park is vying to be a Euro 2020 host.
Glasgow on Thursday "launched its bid" to become one of the 13 host cities for Euro 2020, according to Gregor Kyle of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The £9M ($15M) bid was compiled by the Scottish FA in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, Glasgow City Marketing Bureau and EventScotland. It "will be formally submitted" to UEFA on Friday. Detailing the city’s plan for Euro 2020, the "dossier highlights the facilities and infrastructure already in place and the works undertaken for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games." SFA CEO Stewart Regan said, “There is a track record of major event delivery and secondly, there is an infrastructure in Glasgow and Scotland that puts us in a very strong position" (DAILY RECORD, 4/24). In Edinburgh, Martyn McLaughlin reported UEFA "plans to commemorate" the 60th anniversary of the tournament "by having 13 cities across the continent take part." The selected cities will host three group games and one knock-out match, with another city chosen to host the semifinals and final. The team behind the Glasgow bid will find out in September whether its bid -- which will officially be tendered on Friday with UEFA -- "has been successful." The SFA has emphasized the “rich history and heritage” Hampden Park has in world football, hosting the famous European Cup final of '60 which saw Real Madrid triumph over Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 (SCOTSMAN, 4/24). The BBC reported Regan "thinks Scotland will need to fight it out with their neighbours if Hampden is to be a Euro 2020 venue." Glasgow "will face competition from up to 30 cities, including London, Cardiff and Dublin, to stage matches." Regan: "It's highly unlikely that there will be four winning bids from the U.K. and Ireland. So our job is to try and convince UEFA that Glasgow is one of the preferred options for that zone, if you like." There "will be no more than one venue per country and host nations will not qualify automatically." The semifinals and final "will be played at one host stadium" (BBC, 4/24). STV reported Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison "was at Hampden to give the bid her backing" and she described Scotland as a "natural home" for world sporting events. She added, "We are a nation of sport fans, ready to welcome the best football talent from across Europe and take part in what will be a remarkable year for the European Championships" (STV, 4/24). The BBC reported FA of Wales (FAW) CEO Jonathan Ford said that Cardiff's bid to be a Euro 2020 host city "will hopefully be boosted" by hosting the UEFA Super Cup this summer. Ford: "It's a bit of a dress rehearsal of what we can put on." The FAW will submit Cardiff's 2020 offer before UEFA's Friday deadline (BBC, 4/24).

PRESSING FORWARD: The AFP reported the Belgian Football Federatoin confirmed that Brussels "will be officially presented" as a Euro 2020 host. Federation President Francois De Keersmacker announced that "a dossier had been passed" onto UEFA. The Belgian capital has "offered to host four matches including the opening fixture as they push ahead with plans for a new stadium suitable for major competitions" (AFP, 4/24). The AP reported the Italian Football Federation "is bidding with Rome's Stadio Olimpico" to host Euro 2020 matches. After initially proposing Milan's San Siro stadium as well, the reshaped bid "focuses entirely on the 72,000-seat Rome venue that hosted the 1960 Olympics and 1990 World Cup final" (AP, 4/24).

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: The PORTUGAL NEWS reported Portugal has "officially withdrawn" from staging a Euro 2020 bid. The news was confirmed when Lisbon Town Hall followed the position taken by Oporto to not launch a bid to become a host city (PORTUGAL NEWS, 4/23). The AP reported Polish FA President Zbigniew Boneik said that it is "withdrawing its bid." Boniek believes Poland stood “slim chances” of being chosen because it hosted  Euro 2012. The choice to withdraw was concluded after rating their prospects of success with their two potential venues, Warsaw and Chorzow, as “minimal” (AP, 4/23). CTK reported the Czech FA (FACR) "has definitively given up its effort to make Prague" a host after the city "refused to guarantee the organisation of the football championship." The Prague City Hall "has not signed a contract" with the UEFA and the FACR because of fear that "it would have to cover the costs for the football cup's organisation in the city, if any problems occurred" (CTK, 4/24).
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