The UEFA EURO 2016 bid process, the experiment with five match officials and UEFA Grassroots Day 2010 are key points on the agenda for the UEFA Executive Committee's first meeting of the year in Valletta, Malta, on the afternoon of Thursday 28 January and the morning of Friday 29 January.
Candidates for the 2016 final tournament – the first to feature 24 teams – are currently finalising their bid dossiers, which they will have to present to UEFA by 15 February. An evaluation phase follows before the UEFA administration submits reports to the UEFA National Team Competitions Committee. UEFA's Executive Committee is set to take a final decision at the end of May.
Five match officials
The Executive Committee, chaired by UEFA President Michel Platini, will hear an update on the experiment involving five match officials which is being undertaken at fixtures in the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League on the proposal of the UEFA President, following the FIFA Executive Committee's approval at its meeting in Nassau, Bahamas, last summer, and after previous experiments in the UEFA European Under-19 Championship in autumn 2008.
In addition to the match referee and two assistant referees on the touchline, two extra assistants are placed behind the goalline with the mission of focusing on incidents that happen in the penalty area, such as fouls or misconduct. The experiment has received a considerable amount of positive feedback, with supporters saying in particular that two extra pairs of eyes give invaluable support to referees in helping to minimise refereeing errors, especially in the penalty area.
2010 UEFA Grassroots Day
Last May, at its meeting in Bucharest, the Executive Committee agreed that the run-up to the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League final, to be played on a Saturday for the first time, should feature an event to celebrate grassroots football across Europe. Consequently, the Wednesday before the final, 19 May, has been designated as UEFA Grassroots Day. The committee will receive an update on preparations for these activities at its Malta gathering.
Variety of activities
Placing the Grassroots Day in juxtaposition with the professional showcase match is significant because UEFA holds the view that a healthy grassroots means a flourishing élite level of the game, and UEFA and its 53 member national associations will be joining forces to provide a wide variety of activities. Click here to read about UEFA Grassroots Day in the latest edition of the UEFA Grassroots Newsletter.
The meeting of the Executive Committee will take place at the Excelsior Grand Hotel Malta, Great Siege Road, Floriana FRN 1810, and is scheduled to end at 12.00 local time on Friday 29 January. A press conference will be held immediately after the meeting closes, at approximately 12.15. Media interested in attending the press conference are kindly requested to inform UEFA Media Services by emailing email@example.com with the words 'UEFA Exco Malta' in the subject header, before midday on Tuesday 26 January.
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