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The road to UEFA EURO 2016 took another important step forward when the three candidate host countries presented their respective bids to UEFA at a special ceremony at the House of European Football in Nyon on 15 February.
Representatives of France, Italy and Turkey were present to hand over their bid dossiers to UEFA National Team Competitions Committee chairman Gilberto Madaíl. The evaluation process now begins, with a decision to be taken by the UEFA Executive Committee and announced by the UEFA president in Geneva at 13.00CET on 28 May this year.
"Today marks a very important milestone in the bidding procedure, as it finalises the period of hard work and enormous commitment by each bidder," Mr Madaíl told the three bidders. "You are competing to host one of the world's top sporting events. Every four years the UEFA European Football Championship final tournament gathers together the strongest European national teams and the best European footballers to showcase top-level football.
"For the final tournament, hundreds of thousands of people visit the host country in order to feel the excitement of this unique event, watch matches and celebrate together," he added. "On television, millions of people worldwide follow each match and share their passion for football. Not only does this have a positive impact on the tourist industry, and thus on the economy of the country as a whole, it also supports the social aspect of football by bringing people together."
For the first time, the 2016 final round will feature 24 teams following a UEFA Executive Committee decision in September 2008.
Mr Madaíl received the bid dossiers from the three association presidents – Jean-Pierre Escalettes (France), Giancarlo Abete (Italy) and Mahmut Özgener (Turkey). UEFA will now analyse the bid dossiers, and send a list of any open points to the bidders from 19 March. More than 100 technical criteria will be evaluated, including stadiums, accommodation, legal matters etc.
Final technical workshops – to clarify any open points identified by UEFA experts and provided to the bidders 17 days prior to the workshops – will take place in early April. Officials' visits will also take place at this time to assess government support for the 2016 final round from the country and cities.
The bidders will receive their respective section of the qualitative evaluation report by 29 April, to be able to prepare for a meeting with UEFA National Team Competitions Committee representatives and UEFA on 6 May. Here, they will be able to comment on their report before its public release. The final report will also be sent to the bidders, the UEFA Executive Committee and UEFA National Team Competitions Committee members on 14 May, and will be published on UEFA.com.
The UEFA National Team Competitions Committee will meet on 26 May to finalise technical recommendations to the UEFA Executive Committee, and the key aspects of the bid and technical evaluations will be presented by UEFA National Team Competitions Committee delegates to the Executive Committee on 27 May.
On 28 May, at 12.00CET, UEFA Executive Committee members will meet to deliberate and vote. In accordance with the regulations, UEFA president Michel Platini (France), UEFA Executive Committee first vice-president Şenes Erzik (Turkey) and UEFA Executive Committee member Giancarlo Abete (Italy) may not take part in the discussions and are not entitled to vote. One hour later, the hosts of UEFA EURO 2016 will be announced.
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