The road to UEFA EURO 2016™ has taken an important step forward with the first workshop for the four bidding candidates who have signalled their interest in staging the event.
Representatives of the associations of France, Italy, joint bidders Sweden/Norway and Turkey were present at UEFA headquarters in Nyon to hear UEFA give a general overview of the organisation of a UEFA European Championship final tournament, and to learn more about bid requirements. The four candidates expressed their interest in hosting the 2016 tournament – the first to feature 24 teams following a UEFA Executive Committee decision last autumn – by the deadline of 9 March.
Best of expertise
Discussions took place on a one-to-one basis and in plenary sessions, with UEFA experts providing the bidders with initial information on areas such as the bid process, stadiums, safety and security, accommodation, ground transport and airports, host city promotion and fan zones, legal matters, information technology and broadcasting matters. "It is important that we offer you the best of expertise, and the learning that we have built up over the last few tournaments," UEFA General Secretary David Taylor told the bidders in welcoming them.
Major global event
The two-day workshop also gave UEFA the opportunity to highlight what it means to stage a competition of the magnitude of a EURO – one of the three major global sports events alongside the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Summer Games.
UEFA competitions director Giorgio Marchetti explained UEFA's philosophies and values: "An event like EURO today is fantastic – it is something that everybody would like to experience. Organisation takes four years, and even longer if we include the bidding phase.
"We have a unique opportunity with this event to boost the development of football in Europe. Through the European Football Championship, we help football to improve everywhere – starting with the host country. It's about building legacies and laying foundations for football to flourish in [the host] country [or countries] in the future.
"A lot of revenue is generated, through which UEFA funds all of the 53 football associations," Marchetti added. "We bring together the best football actors in Europe. The tournament has the capability of uniting people. This is the best opportunity to show what European football is all about. 'European-ness' is the main character of this competition – bringing together historical rivals, great footballers, great football countries ... and giving people an extraordinary opportunity to feel united."
Further briefings will be held, and the candidates will be able to develop their bid dossiers, which they will have to present to UEFA by 15 February 2010. This will be followed by an evaluation phase, during which UEFA will conduct a series of official visits to the various bidders. The UEFA administration, and experts appointed by UEFA, will then examine the bid dossiers and prepare written evaluation reports for submission to the UEFA National Team Competitions Committee. UEFA's Executive Committee will take a final decision on or about 27 May 2010.
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