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UEFA welcomes EURO 2008 candidates

Seven candidates have officially presented UEFA with their bids to host EURO 2008.

Seven candidates, comprising a total of 14 European countries, have officially presented UEFA with their bids to host EURO 2008.

Special ceremony
At a special ceremony at the House of European Football in Nyon, Switzerland, association presidents, general secretaries and delegation heads from the seven candidates gave short presentations of their bids before handing over their bid dossiers to the UEFA Chief Executive, Gerhard Aigner.

The seven candidates are:
· Austria/Switzerland
· Bosnia-Herzegovina/Croatia
· Greece/Turkey
· Hungary
· Denmark/Finland/Norway/Sweden (Nordic 2008)
· Russia
· Scotland/Republic of Ireland

Reasons for bids
In presenting their bids to stage European football’s top competition for national teams in six years’ time, the potential EURO 2008 hosts gave the reasoning for their candidatures in sporting, infrastructure, social and transport terms.

Trustful for the future
“I personally am proud to see that we in Europe have such competent bidders,” said Mr Aigner, who praised each candidate for the professional way in which each bid was presented. “It makes me very trustful for the future. I can assure you that we will give our best attention to these bids, which will be processed in an objective and fair way.”

Quarter of Europe's football family
The UEFA CEO noted that around a quarter of the European football family was involved in the bids for EURO 2008. “I think this is a very gratifying sign, and shows not only the interest that our member associations have, but also their willingness to take on such a challenge.”

Third biggest sporting event
“The European Championship is often described today as the third biggest sporting event in the world,” he added.

UEFA inspection
Mr Aigner told the candidates that UEFA would inspect each of the bidding countries between August and October 2002. A first oral report will be presented to the UEFA National Teams Committee on 28 October 2002.

Reports submitted
A written report will be drawn up by the inspection teams for mid-November, and the report will be submitted to both the UEFA Executive Committee and National Teams Committee.

December decision
Each candidate will be asked to make official presentations of their bid to the Executive Committee and National Teams Committee on 11 December 2002. The National Teams Committee is then scheduled to discuss the bids the following day, and will formulate a recommendation for the Executive Committee to take its final decision.