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Home nations submit Euro bids

25 Apr 2014 12:01:56

Home nations submit Euro bids

Football Association chiefs believe they have submitted a strong bid for Wembley to host either the final or group matches in Euro 2020.

The English bid has been submitted by the FA to UEFA ahead of a midnight deadline, and bids for group matches have also been submitted by Wales, Scotland and the Republic of Ireland.

The FA hopes the success of the 2011 and 2013 Champions League finals at Wembley will stand its bid in good stead. It is understood however that FA chiefs are aware that a Turkish bid remains the favourite to win the right to stage the climax of the tournament - the semi-finals and finals - in Istanbul.

UEFA will announce the 13 host cities at a ceremony in Geneva on September 19 and there could be up to 30 bids for either a package of three group games and a knock-out match, or the package of final matches.

It is the first time the tournament will have been held across Europe, and it is being done in order to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the European Championship.

FA general secretary Alex Horne said: "We are bidding for either of the two packages available and with our recent experience of hosting two UEFA Champions League finals in the last four years we believe that Wembley Stadium and London represent a strong bid for UEFA to consider to mark the tournament's 60th anniversary.

"We recognise UEFA is considering many strong bids from a number of candidate cities and we welcome the opportunity to put forward our bid."

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) has put forward Cardiff for group matches and its bid has been backed by Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale.

"It would then be an unbelievable experience to play in the 2020 European Championship finals in my home city of Cardiff," Bale said.

"I have been fortunate to play in some of the world's greatest stadia but nothing matches the atmosphere and passion generated by the Millennium Stadium.

"These are exciting times for Welsh football and I'm really proud to offer my full support to the FAW's UEFA Euro 2020 bid."

There had been a question mark over the Welsh bid as cities needed to nominate two airports to service rival sets of fans, but the FAW has signed agreements which would use both Cardiff and Bristol airports.

"We believe that we have a strong and compelling proposition," FAW chief executive Jonathan Ford said.

Ireland are putting forward Dublin to host group matches while the Scottish FA's bid centres on Hampden.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said the toughest competition could come from close to home.

He said: "It's highly unlikely that there will be four winning bids from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

"So our job is to try to convince UEFA that Glasgow is one of the preferred options for that zone, if you like."

UEFA has asked all bidding cities to provide detailed files including information on stadiums, transport, hotels, airports, fan zones and government guarantees.

A number of the 32 countries who initially registered an interest have dropped out of the running, including Portugal, Poland and the Czech Republic.


PA

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