We have occasionally had a look at the other contenders for EURO2008. Some information can be found quite easily, other bids appear to be keeping is so secret that we may never know just what was in the bid. The two most difficult bids to find out anything about have been the Russian and the Hungarian. These two bids could well be dark horses but may well attract support as UEFA favour solo bids.
The seven candidates (but, alas, no sign of Nordie the talking football!)
The Russian bid appears to get government support one week, then lose it the next. The financial commitment to be met by the successful bidder may prove too much for the Russian Football Union. The scenes in Moscow after the Russians lost their World Cup game against co-hosts Japan did nothing to enhance their reputation with their Government or UEFA. I have been trying for ages to find information relating to their bid but have been largely unsuccessful.
The Hungarian Football Federation has at least set up a website that I could find! They were in Nyon in Switzerland on the 19th of this month to make their presentation to UEFA. Dr. Imre Bozóky, President of the Hungarian Football Federation made a speech outlining the need for Hungary to look ahead rather than rely on their golden past. When he concluded his speech Dr. Bozóky cordially invited football lovers of Europe to Hungary, or as he put it, to New Europe. Sándor Puhl, vice-president of the Hungarian Football Federation, said: "If the Hungarian society and football family works together for this cause, we have the chance for the final victory." Their bid works under the slogan: "New Friends, New Adventures, New Victories" and like the Scotland Ireland bid has some choices to make regarding which venues to include. The had to balance representation from Eastern and Western Hungary. The finally settled on three cities each from the East and West with two venues in the capital, Budapest.
Before we compare what the Hungarians are hoping to deliver we better remind ourselves what UEFA are looking for. UEFA's Schedule of Conditions state that four stadia with the minimum capacity of 30,000 seats, three stadia with 40,000 seats (for the quarter-finals), and one with 50,000 seats (for the final) must be available for the finals.
Hungary's bidding document shows that they will be able to deliver on the minimum criteria.
Budapest – Népstadion (50,000 capacity)
Debrecen (40,000 capacity)
Székesfehérvár (40,000 capacity)
Budapest – As yet unbuilt stadium on Fehér út (40,000 capacity)
Gyõr (30,000 capacity)
Kaposvár (30,000 capacity)
Miskolc (30,000 capacity)
Szeged (30,000 capacity)
Scotland/Irelands' bids on the other hand shows that we still have to decide which 8 out of the 10 venues we will use. However, on sheer numbers, whichever way the venues are selected, the bid will exceed the minimum by some way. The number of bums on seats will be a significant factor in the decision making process.
|As yet unbuilt Stadium Ireland|
|Hampden Park |
|Murrayfield Stadium |
|Celtic Park |