'Dream come true'
UEFA stadium and security committee president Ernie Walker paid tribute at the start of his 14th tour of the ten stadiums for next summer's extravaganza. "UEFA always considered the Algarve as a key point of EURO 2004," Walker said. "We are very happy because this stadium is a dream come true."
Along with UEFA colleague Thierry Favre, Walker was joined by António Laranjo, the EURO 2004™ tournament director, and António Florêncio, head of the press department. The delegation noted significant progress since their last visit on 16 June.
With the upper stands now finished and the structure ready to support the roof, Walker said: "It is time to take this mother to the hospital because she is almost ready to give birth." The mayors of Faro and Loulé, José Vitorino and Seruca Emídio, added their praise and said that work would be completed by the end of the month.
The stadium will be officially inaugurated in October and all three UEFA European Championship matches that will take place there are already sold out. On Wednesday, Walker will continue his tour of the competition venues. In the morning he was due at the José Alvalade stadium in Lisbon before visiting the nearby Luz and then the Leiria venue in the afternoon.
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