Spreading the word
Gilberto Madaíl, chairman of Euro 2004, S.A., announced today that Eusebio, the legendary SL Benfica and Portugal striker, would team up with two present-day Portuguese internationals, Real Madrid CF's Figo and Newcastle United FC's Viana, in helping spread the word about the European football showpiece.
Other ambassadors to follow
"Eusebio, Luis Figo and Hugo Viana have already agreed to be UEFA EURO 2004 ambassadors," Madaíl said at a press conference in Lisbon. Other ambassadors will be named later.
Agreement with ICEP
The press conference followed a meeting of the board of Euro 2004, S.A. and it was also revealed that promotion of the finals, both in Portugal and abroad, would gather pace after the signing of an agreement between Euro 2004, S.A. and the Portuguese Institute of Foreign Trade (ICEP) on 15 January.
Meanwhile, Madaíl promised a "Portuguese flavour" to the Lisbon draw for the final tournament, which will take place on 30 November once the qualifying round is concluded. He added: "We have also approved the programme for the draw, which will be held in the Pavilhão Atlântico."
Ticket sales to start
Security, accommodation plans, volunteers and ticketing were among the other items on the agenda at the meeting. It was announced that ticket sales for the tournament would begin in March and that the accomodation plans had been approved.
The match schedule is in preparation but cannot be confirmed until contracts have been finalised between the organisers and the owners of the stadiums. However, the UEFA Professional Football and Marketing director, Lars-Christer Olsson, did confirm the use of all ten stadiums. "We are organising the tournament counting on all the ten venues," Olsson said.
Euro 2004, S.A. expects to conclude a deal with a national partner before the end of January. Negotiations are presently under way with three banks and a major Portuguese company.
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