FAI reveal 2020 vision


Soccer:The Football Association of Ireland has expressed an interest in hosting the European Championship finals in 2020 alongside Scotland and Wales. The formal declaration of interest does not commit the three countries to proceeding with a bid, however, with a decision not due to be taken by Uefa for another 18 months.

A spokesman for the FAI confirmed this morning that the FAW and SFA had extended an invitation to “join them in making an expression of interest and we have agreed to do that but it’s at a very preliminary stage and it’s just an expression of interest.

“There are no bids required for another couple of years and the idea has not been explored at this stage in any real detail. Obviously it’s not something that we would be giving a huge amount of thought to this close to the Euros.”

So far Turkey are the only other nation to inform Uefa that they want to want host the tournament. Uefa have a deadline of midnight tonight for any other declarations of interest. Bidders would need to put forward up to 10 stadiums to host matches. As such, it is likely the FAI would need to explore the possibility of accessing Croke Park as well as the Aviva Stadium.

The countries have not fared well in the past in bidding for the tournament. Scotland and the Ireland bid jointly for Euro 2008 but were one of the first to be eliminated, and Scotland and Wales considered bidding jointly for Euro 2016 but decided against it.