FAI's bid for 2011 Uefa Cup final put on hold

Sat, Mar 29, 2008, 00:00

SOCCER:THE FATE of the FAI's bid to have the 2011 Uefa Cup final staged at the redeveloped Lansdowne Road will not now be known until later in the year following a decision by European football's governing body to postpone a decision on the venues for that year's club finals.

Dublin's chances of succeeding now seem to depend in part on the ability of the English FA to resolve the tax issues that contributed to the failure of its bid to secure a Champions League final for Wembley.

The Bernabeu stadium in Madrid was awarded the 2010 Champions League decider, in part, Uefa president Michel Platini confirmed yesterday, because the English could not guarantee the players exemption from British tax on earnings from the match.

Uefa policy is that players should, for reasons of fairness and simplicity, be taxed on all their earnings in their country of residence.

"The concerns we had over players being taxed were minimised by the English FA but not confirmed by the British government," said Platini after yesterday's Uefa executive committee meeting in Vaduz.

With Hamburg getting the 2010 Uefa Cup final and associations generally not being awarded such games in successive years, the committee decided against awarding the 2011 final to one of Wembley's other rivals, all of which were in either Germany or Spain.

Instead, it has reopened bidding for the Champions League decider.

If Wembley can now secure it then three of the Dublin's remaining rivals for the Uefa Cup final - the Emirates in London, the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona and the Schalke Arena in Gelsenkirchen - will effectively be out of the running.

Of the original contenders that would leave just Lansdowne Road and the new national stadium in Bucharest, both of which are under construction, though Platini's observation yesterday that there are doubts about whether some of the proposed venues would be ready in time suggests Uefa officials have not been entirely convinced by the assurances they have received during fact-finding trips to Ireland and Romania.