FAI may partake in Uefa's 2020 vision
Soccer:Ireland may be in line to host games in Euro 2020 after Uefa decided today to stage the event across Europe in seven years’ time. Although no final figure has been announced for the number of countries that will host the event, Uefa has decided to move away from the model whereby a single country or two countries stage the event.
Uefa general secretary Gianni Infantino told a press conference after an executive committee meeting in Lausanne, Switzerland, today: “Some important decisions have been taken. Uefa Euro 2020 will be staged across the continent, in various major cities, following a decision taken today. A Euro for Europe follows an initial idea by Uefa president Michel Platini.
“The response has been extremely positive from all the national associations.”
The Euros will be changing from a 16-team tournament to a 24-team event when France hosts the 2016 championships.
"It (2020) is the 60th anniversary of the European football championship - obviously the fact that the Euro moves to 24 teams bears additional burdens on the host nations, the requirements are becoming bigger and bigger. "It is a decision only about 2020, it is not going forward for ever," he added. "Today, everything is open."
Platini has mooted the possibility of the format for some time. The Frenchman said in June that it would “be a lot easier from a financial perspective for all the countries”, adding: "If you need to build airports or 10 stadiums in a country - this would be rather easy because it would be one stadium per host city.”
Infantino said today the bidding process for the host cities would start in March and would take a year with decisions made in the spring of 2014, while the format and number of cities to be involved will be decided by Uefa’s national teams committee.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) are expected to enter a proposal to host some of the matches after the success of staging the 2011 Europa League Final at the Aviva Stadium. Platini visited Ireland recently, attending the friendly international between the Republic of Ireland and Greece at the ground.
Turkey had initially bid to host Euro 2020 and the country’s Uefa vice-president Senes Erzik opposed the decision, Infantino confirmed.