Euro 2012 – Ukraine and Poland

February 2, 2008

Scotland In Bold Euro 2012 Offer

Filed under: Poland,Ukraine — Ivan @ 5:29 am

In April 2007, a joint Poland-Ukraine bid to host Euro 2012 was chosen ahead of rivals Italy and Croatia-Hungary.

However, UEFA has called for the host nations to prove they’re ready to welcome Europe’s finest despite recent “political instability”.

Indeed, UEFA president Michel Platini wishes to avoid “critical slippage” in the preparations. He indicated, though, that the governing body will do all they can to support the planning process over the next six months.

Now, Scotland have registered their interest in hosting the event. The SFA is currently planning a bid for Euro 2016, but chief executive Gordon Smith revealed that Scotland would be willing to step sooner in if the situation worsened.

“In the meantime we’d speak to the Scottish government and try to get a feasibility study done as to the costs and what’s required in terms of stadium upgrades,” Smith said.

Uefa general secretary David Taylor – a Scotsman – admitted that the Poland-Ukraine event could provide a challenge for organisers.

“In both countries there has been political instability,” said Taylor.

“That’s nobody’s fault, but everything slowed down as a result. We want to develop football across the continent but it will certainly be a bigger challenge than in, say, Austria and Switzerland.”

Scotland currently has two UEFA accredited 5-star stadia. National stadium Hampden Park (pictured) is due for a facelift, as is the other top stadium – Rangers’ Ibrox.

Celtic Park has a capacity of over 60,000, while national rugby stadium Murrayfield holds nearly 70,000.

The Scots’ previous problem in bidding for major finals is that the top venues are all in Glasgow, except Murrayfield. Tynecastle, home of Hearts, and Aberdeen’s Pittodrie Stadium could therefore be in line for major renovations.

The SFA has repeatedly distanced itself from joint bids with Ireland and/or Wales in recent years. This might not be an option for the 2016 bid, though, as debate rages on regarding a tournament expansion to involve more than the current 16 participant nations is possible.

Goal.com UK

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