The appointment of a host association for the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2013 will feature on the agenda for the first UEFA Executive Committee meeting of the year at the House of European Football in Nyon on Thursday and Friday.
The committee, chaired by UEFA president Michel Platini, will choose the host country for the 2013 Under-21 Championship final tournament from five candidates. These finals have become an important fixture on the UEFA calendar as they involve players who are either starting to make their mark in European football or emerging as potential stars of tomorrow. Bulgaria, Czech Republic, England, Israel and Wales are all bidding to stage the tournament.
In addition, the hosts of the 2011 UEFA Futsal Cup finals will be selected in Nyon. The major European futsal competition for club sides continues to increase in profile. Last year, the final attracted a competition-record 9,400 crowd to Lisbon's Pavilhão Atlântico. Bidding to stage the event are MFK Kairat Almaty from Kazahkstan and the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) on behalf of SL Benfica and Sporting Clube de Portugal.
New members of the UEFA Convention on Referee Education and Organisation are also up for ratification by the Executive Committee. The convention, which now has 36 associations as signatories, aims to enhance referee education, promoting the role of the referee and improving refereeing structures and development within Europe.
An update will be given on the 2011 UEFA Grassroots Day, in which the vital foundations of the game will be celebrated across Europe during the same week as the UEFA Champions League final at London's Wembley Stadium on Saturday 28 May. The inaugural 2010 event proved a resounding success, and, as a prelude to the most high-profile club fixture of the year, underlined UEFA's stance that elite football cannot flourish without healthy grassroots and that the game is open to everyone.
At the XXXIII Ordinary UEFA Congress in Copenhagen in March 2009, UEFA president Michel Platini presented eleven key values that should serve as the basis for the organisation's future activities, with grassroots being one of the essential values put forward.
"Football is based on the grassroots, played everywhere by men and women, boys and girls," was the message to UEFA's member national associations. "The top professional level is just the tip of the iceberg. UEFA will continue with, and even strengthen, solidarity, both to protect the future of football and to deliver the wider benefits that our sport brings to society as a whole." Click here for the eleven values.
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